Kovac won't enjoy Eagles reunion

Eintracht Frankfurt v Bayern Munich
Saturday 22 December, 17:30
Live on BT Sport 2 and Betfair Live Video
Things can change quickly in football, and in the gap between Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayern Munich's first two meetings of this campaign, the fortunes of both clubs have fluctuated. In August, Bayern dismantled Eintracht 5-0 at the Commerzbank Arena to win the Supercup. It was a disastrous debut for Eagles coach Adi Hutter, as his new players seemed totally bemused by the pressing system he wanted to implement.
That win for Niko Kovac against his former club sparked a great start to the Croatian's tenure as Bayern boss. The Bavarian giants won all of their first seven competitive games in all competitions, and it seemed that even though Kovac was by no means Bayern's first-choice, this was an appointment that had worked well.
Fast forward a few months, and the picture is totally different. Eintracht have developed into one of the most exciting attacking sides in Europe, scoring goals at will but retaining some of the defensive grit that Kovac had implemented during his spell in charge. Strikers Luka Jovic, Sebastien Haller and Ante Rebic have all excelled, and previously inconsistent performers like Filip Kostic have been made into reliable stalwarts.
Frankfurt are not only succeeding in the Bundesliga (they are fifth heading into this weekend), but they have also won all six of their Europa League matches. Hutter deserves enormous praise for what he has achieved.
Bayern have headed in the opposite direction. Although they ground out a 1-0 win over RB Leipzig in midweek, they are still six points behind the leaders Borussia Dortmund, and not quite firing on all cylinders. A recent change in formation has given them more solidity, and there seems to be a stronger unity of purpose, but there is still plenty of work to do.
Bayern are trading at 1.55 to win here, and that seems too short. Frankfurt have won four of their last five home games in the league, rattling in 17 goals in the process. They are playing with much more structure and confidence than they did in the Supercup, and I think the atmosphere at the Commerzbank Arena for the final home game of 2018 will be electric. I'm also not convinced that Bayern's defence can cope with the Frankfurt attack - after all, they were pulled from pillar to post recently in a 3-3 draw at Ajax.
I'll lay the visitors here.

Wolves to finish the year on a high

Augsburg v Wolfsburg
Sunday December 23, 14:30
Live on BT Sport 2 and Betfair Live Video
These are heady days for Wolfsburg. The club that successfully contested the relegation playoff in each of the last two seasons is now pushing for European qualification. Coach Bruno Labbadia has given his players a solid tactical framework to operate in, and the club's long-standing injury crisis has eased. Strikers Wout Weghorst and Daniel Ginczek are in dangerous form, and a solid back four is performing stoutly.
Wolfsburg have taken 13 points from their last five games, while Augsburg have collected just two points in that timeframe. The Swabians have had a few injury problems of their own, and they haven't won a game in the Bundesliga since late October. At their WWK Arena, Augsburg have won just once in the league this season.
On current form, Wolfsburg are streets ahead of Augsburg, and I can see them picking up another win here. It could be a tight affair though, so I'll use the Draw No Bet market.

Hoffenheim to move off the drawing board

Hoffenheim v Mainz
Sunday December 23, 17:00
Live on BT Sport 2 and Betfair Live Video
It's been a strange few weeks for Hoffenheim. They are unbeaten in nine Bundesliga matches, but have drawn the last five, a run of results that has seen them lose momentum in the push for another Champions League qualification. They were a little fortunate to escape defeat at Werder Bremen on Wednesday, as the hosts squandered some great chances to win it late on.
Mainz twice surrendered the lead in midweek in what was still a creditable 2-2 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt, but it is their away form which remains a big concern. Die Nullfunfer have lost four of their last six away games in the league, and were blown away 4-1 at Leipzig last weekend.
Despite their run of draws, Hoffenheim are still a real threat in attack (20 goals in their last nine league games), and I think they'll overwhelm Mainz here.
RECOMMENDED BETS
Lay Bayern Munich v Eintracht Frankfurt at 1.55
Back Wolfsburg Draw No Bet v Augsburg at 2.02
Back Hoffenheim -1.5 on the Asian Handicap v Mainz at [2.05]

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