Bayern Munich v Borussia Monchengladbach Saturday 06 September, 17:30 Live on BT Sport
Life at Germany's most successful club can sour quickly if results take a turn for the worse. It wasn't that long ago that Bayern Munich's players were falling over themselves to praise the tactical acumen and straight talking of new coach Niko Kovac, but after a trio of poor results, the picture has changed significantly. There's talk of disgruntlement about tactics and squad rotation, and even allegations that midfielder James Rodriguez told Kovac in no uncertain terms that what worked with Eintracht Frankfurt may not be so effective in Munich.
These whispers may or may not be accurate, but what's undeniable is that Bayern have lost their way in the last fortnight. A clumsy 1-1 draw at home to Bavarian neighbours Augsburg was a minor misstep, but Bayern were very sloppy in a 2-0 defeat at Hertha Berlin (their only reverse of the season), and they were outplayed and perhaps outworked by a vibrant young Ajax side in the Champions League. That 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena frustrated the Dutch club as much as it relieved the German one.
My belief is that this period of bad form won't last too much longer, and that Bayern will still recover to win another league title, regardless of how sexy Borussia Dortmund's football currently seems. However, the slump may not be over before the international break. Borussia Monchengladbach have lost just once this term, and they have been playing some sparkling attacking football. Summer signing Alessane Plea has already begun to justify his big price tag (big for the Bundesliga, anyway), banging in four league goals in six appearances. Young midfielder Florian Neuhaus has been a revelation, and Thorgan Hazard continues to show that his illustrious brother Eden didn't get all of the family's footballing talent.
The return from injury of clever forward Lars Stindl is a boost for Gladbach, and I think they can compete well here against a Bayern team that isn't fully functioning. Let's give the Foals a two-goal headstart by using the Asian Handicap.
Hertha can maintain their momentum
Mainz v Hertha Berlin Saturday 06 September, 14:30 Live on Betfair Live Video
At the start of the season, Hertha Berlin were expected to be safe in mid-table, but weren't expected to do any serious damage in the top half of the standings. Mainz were tipped once again by many as relegation battlers. However, both teams have so far exceeded expectations with some eye-catching displays.
Hertha were outstanding against Bayern last weekend. They defended doggedly, with centre-backs Niklas Stark and Karim Rekik both superb. With Bayern working hard to nullify the threat of flying Dutchman Javairo Dilrosun down the left, Hertha exploited the space on the right with the wily Salomon Kalou and the rapidly improving Valentino Lazaro. Rejuvenated attacking midfielder Ondrej Duda smashed in his fifth Bundesliga goal of the season to seal the win against the champions, while veteran striker Vedad Ibisevic scored his fourth league goal this term.
Mainz lost 1-0 at Schalke last Saturday, but actually played pretty well, especially in the second half. Their problem is scoring goals - they have drawn a blank in their last three games, and they've only scored more than one goal once in the league this term.
Hertha are on a high, and playing much more expansive football than they ever have previously under coach Pal Dardai, while Mainz have done well so far but could be outclassed here. I'll back Hertha using the Draw No Bet market.
Leipzig to extend winning streak
RB Leipzig v Nurnberg Sunday 07 October, 17:00 Live on BT Sport
Just as Bayern Munich's season has swiftly suffered a downturn, RB Leipzig's is heading in the other direction. After their shambolic home defeat to Salzburg in the Europa League, Die Roten Bullen have gone on a three-match winning run. Their 3-1 win at Norwegian side Rosenborg was particularly impressive, and it's encouraging that youg Brazilian forward Matheus Cunha is starting to feel a bit more settled. The former Sion striker is lavishly gifted, and is starting to show it.
Newly-promoted Nurnberg have done well against weaker Bundesliga side like Hannover, Dusseldorf and Mainz, but they were crushed 7-0 at Borussia Dortmund, and I think they'll struggle to contain the speed and movement of Leipzig's forwards. This could be a long evening for them, and I'll back the hosts -1.5 on the Asian Handicap.
Back Borussia Monchegladbach +2.0 on the Asian Handicap v Bayern Munich at 1.97
Back Hertha Berlin Draw No Bet v Mainz at 1.98
Back RB Leipzig -1.5 on the Asian Handicap v Nurnberg at odds of around 2.10 (wait for liquidity in the market)