Bayer Leverkusen v Fortuna Dusseldorf Sunday February 14, 17:00 Live on BT Sport and Betfair Live Video
It was always going to be lively when Peter Bosz began his second crack at Bundesliga football, and "Boszball" has delivered entertainment in spades. A beautifully chaotic 5-1 win at Mainz last weekend featured some breathtaking football, but also showed that Bayer's gung-ho approach will see them give up plenty of chances to the opposition. Had Mainz been more clinical in front of goal, Bayer would've been made to work a lot harder for the win.
Bosz's attack-minded approach is bringing the best out of some of his players. Julian Brandt's switch to an attacking midfield role has given him more licence to make an impact - the trip to Mainz saw him score twice and set up two further goals. Teenage midfielder Kai Havertz continues to catch the eye with his flawless technique and icy calm, while winger Karim Bellarabi has been revitalised this term.
A Champions League place is now an outside possibility for Bayer, and they are very much in the hunt for a Europa League spot. Sunday's opponents Fortuna Dusseldorf are just happy to be ten points clear of the bottom three after last weekend's vital win over Stuttgart, and they are probably only a couple of wins away from safety. They have looked a real threat on the counter-attack recently, and they have given the big boys a few problems - they beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 and drew 3-3 at Bayern Munich.
Fortuna have scored in ten of their last 12 games in league and cup, and they'll make chances because of the way Bosz sets Bayer up. I believe Bayer will be a bit too strong for Fortuna across the ninety, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if both teams score. You can use the Same Game Multi feature on the Sportsbook to back a Bayer/BTTS double at combined odds of 2.42.
Hannover's joy to prove short-lived
Hoffenheim v Hannover Saturday February 16, 14:30 Live on Betfair Live Video
Hannover boosted their survival hopes last weekend with a 2-0 home victory over Nurnberg, but no-one at the HDI Arena should be getting too excited. H96 beat the worst team in the division, and Nurnberg played with ten men for the vast majority of the game after young midfielder Simon Rhein was dismissed for a wild challenge.
This is still a Hannover team that lacks creativity, and that has a real weak spot when it comes to defending set pieces. New coach Thomas Doll hasn't been shy about pointing out his players deficiencies, and he will know how tough this Saturday's trip to Hoffenheim will be. Die Roten haven't won away from home in the league since October 2017, and they have collected a pitiful eight points from the last 22 road matches in the top flight.
Hoffenheim have seen their Champions League qualification hopes dented in recent weeks, but they were superb in the second half of their 3-3 draw at Borussia Dortmund last weekend, as they came roaring back from 3-0 down. Their clever movement in attack should cause a plodding Hannover defence and midfield all kinds of problems, and I'm anticipating a comfortable home win.
Dortmund to recover after damaging week
Nurnberg v Borussia Dortmund Monday February 18, 19:30 Live on BT Sport and Betfair Live Video
It's been a pretty dreadful few days for the league leaders Borussia Dortmund. They were knocked out of the DFB Cup on penalties after a 3-3 draw at home to Werder Bremen, they saw their lead at the top of the Bundesliga cut to five points after blowing a 3-0 lead in a 3-3 draw with Hoffenheim, and a dismal defensive collapse saw them lose 3-0 against Tottenham at Wembley in the Champions League. After chasing glory on three fronts, the Meisterschale might soon be all that BVB have to aim for.
Several factors have contributed to this mini-collapse. Injuries have bitten hard - Manuel Akanji's absence has hurt the defence, while the absence of skipper Marco Reus is always a blow. Also, defensive issues that have existed all season are starting to consistently hurt the team, especially a weakness at defending crosses.
Fortunately for Dortmund, they are up against the worst team in the division this Monday. Nurnberg fired their coach and sporting director this week, with Der Club rock-bottom of the standings with just 11 points. To be fair to departed coach Michael Kollner, there was little he could realistically achieve with such a limited squad. If you were looking for Nurnberg players that other Bundesliga sides would happily recruit, you'd find that options are thin on the ground.
Nurnberg have lost 11 of their last 15 Bundesliga matches, and they were shredded 7-0when they faced Dortmund at Signal Iduna Park. This could be the perfect pick-me-up for Lucien Favre's bruised and battered troops.
I'll back the visitors -1 on the Sportsbook's Handicap at evens.
Back Bayer Leverkusen/BTTS double using Same Game Multi on the Sportsbook at 2.42
Back Hoffenheim -1.5 on the Asian Handicap v Hannover at 1.76
Back Borussia Dortmund -1 on the Handicap at evens on the Sportsbook