Bundesliga Betting: Leipzig to shred faltering Fortuna
RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach are the front-runners in the title race, and Kevin Hatchard's backing both of them to pick up wins this weekend.
Red Bulls to keep charging
Fortuna Dusseldorf v RB Leipzig Saturday 14 December, 14:30 Live on Betfair Live Video
It's a good time to be an RB Leipzig fan. Die Roten Bullen have qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League as group winners, and a run of five straight Bundesliga wins has taken them to within a point of top spot in the race for the Meisterschale. Genius coach Julian Nagelsmann realised he was trying to change too much, too soon with his new charges, and he has found a happy compromise between his style of football and the approach that RBL's players have become used to.
Star striker Timo Werner signed a new deal at the start of the campaign, and he looks sharper than ever before. He has scored 12 goals in his last ten appearances in all competitions, and has admitted he's having a whale of a time in a team that plays lightning-fast attacking football. Playmaker Emil Forsberg is back to full fitness after a nagging groin injury, and he has scored five times in his last four appearances.
Fortuna are battling against second-season syndrome, and they have sunk into the relegation zone. They were thrashed 4-0 at home by Bayern last month, and last weekend they crumbled to a 5-0 defeat at Borussia Dortmund. They are leaking far too many goals - 29 have been conceded in just 14 league matches, and in attack they have been reliant on the form of Rouwen Hennings, who has scored ten of their 16 league goals.
Seven of Leipzig's nine Bundesliga wins this term have been by at least two goals, and I think they can win comfortably against a Fortuna team that's in danger of falling apart. I'll back the visitors -1.5 on the Asian Handicap at [2.23].
Bayer to win Rhineland derby
Koln v Bayer Leverkusen Saturday 14 December, 14:30 Live on Betfair Live Video
Although Bayer Leverkusen slipped out of the Champions League this week, they have definitely stepped up a gear in the last fortnight. They used their pace on the counter to secure a rare victory at Bayern Munich (although they rode their luck a few times) and followed up that win with a fine win at home to Schalke. Star midfielder Kai Havertz is back after injury, Jamaican speedster Leon Bailey looks like he's finally regaining form and confidence after a long wait, and there is strength-in-depth in attack.
A few stops down the train line in the cathedral city of Cologne, trouble is brewing. Life at Koln is never dull, and the Billy Goats are already on their second coach of the season, and I reckon they'll be on at least a third by the end of the campaign. Markus Gisdol was a deeply underwhelming appointment in the wake of Achim Beierlorzer's dismissal, and he has made a poor start to his spell at the RheinEnergieStadion. He has collected a single point from his three games, and even that was snatched late on at home to Augsburg.
Koln have lost five of their last six games, and they have conceded 14 goals in the process. If Bayer play anywhere near as well as they did against Bayern and Schalke, they should win this with room to spare.
Foals to stay top of the standings
Wolfsburg v Borussia Monchengladbach Sunday 15 December, 14:30 Live on BT Sport and Betfair Live Video
It's been an extraordinary week for Borussia Monchengladbach. They secured an emotional and frankly undeserved 2-1 win over Bayern Munich, a result that took them seven points ahead of the record champions. They then crashed out of the Europa League, conceding a last-gasp goal in a 2-1 defeat at home to Istanbul Basaksehir.
That defeat may ultimately enhance their chances of success in the Bundesliga, and I believe they can pick up maximum points at the Volkswagen Arena. Wolfsburg started the season incredibly well, but have faltered recently. They have only won three of their last 13 games in all competitions, and at home they have only won two of their last nine games.
Gladbach have won four of their six away games in the Bundesliga, and Wolfsburg have lost their last two league matches on home soil. I'll back the league leaders Draw No Bet here at 1.95.