The Bundesliga is back after the winter break, and Kevin Hatchard has four selections to kick off 2020.
League leaders to start 2020 in style
RB Leipzig v Union Berlin Saturday 18 January, 17:30 Live on BT Sport and Betfair Live Video
History beckons for RB Leipzig, who could win the Bundesliga title just 11 years after they were founded. If they were to lift the Meisterschale it would be far from a universally popular success, but on the positive side, Julian Nagelsmann's team has played some thrilling football. Leipzig go into the new year two points clear of Borussia Monchengladbach at the top, and perhaps more importantly they are four ahead of the champions Bayern Munich.
Leipzig have the league's best attack, having fired in 48 goals in just 17 games, and only Wolfsburg and Gladbach have leaked fewer goals. In Timo Werner, RBL have a fully focused forward who is in the form of his life - the German international has scored 18 league goals and has set up six more. It says a lot about the strength of the squad that Leipzig were prepared to allow long-serving midfielder Diego Demme to make a dream move to his beloved Napoli, and everywhere you look in the team there are options.
Leipzig have won seven of their last eight Bundesliga matches, and six of those wins were by a margin of more than one goal. On the opening weekend of the season, they shredded Saturday's opponents Union 4-0. The capital club have improved significantly since then, but most of their points have been collected in Kopenick. On the road, Union have lost five of their last seven, and I think they'll be well beaten here.
Frankfurt's woes to increase
Hoffenheim v Eintracht Frankfurt Saturday 18 January, 14:30 Live on Betfair Live Video
Life comes at you fast in football, and last season's Europa League semi-finalists Eintracht Frankfurt find themselves in a spot of bother heading into 2020. They scraped into the UEL's last 32, and in the league they are just three points above the bottom three. The Eagles have the worst away record in the division, having lost all but one of their eight matches, and they have only scored eight goals in those games.
Frankfurt's transfer chief Fredi Bobic has had a lot of success recently, but this season's acquisitions haven't been a hit so far. Portuguese forward Andre Silva has been well below par, Bas Dost has only scored four league goals, young forward Dejan Joveljic has barely featured at all, and midfielder Djibril Sow has made a limited impact.
Hoffenheim ended 2019 with a fabulous comeback win over Borussia Dortmund, and the recent acquisition of Israeli striker Moanes Dabbur could prove to be a real coup. Although he lost his way at Sevilla, Dabbur was exceptional in his time at Salzburg, and could prove to be the natural goalscorer that Hoffenheim really need. With the likes of Ilhas Bebou, Andrej Kramaric and Sargis Adamyan buzzing around Dabbur, Hoffenheim suddenly have an exciting attack.
Hoffe finished the year with back-to-back wins, and although they certainly have flaws, I think they can overcome a Frankfurt side that has totally lost its way.
Billy Goats to overcome Wolves
Koln v Wolfsburg Saturday 18 January, 14:30 Live on Betfair Live Video
The winter break came at a bad time for Koln. The Billy Goats had won their final three matches of 2019, more than doubling their points tally in the process. Coach Markus Gisdol turned to youth (Opta say he picked the club's three youngest starting elevens of the season) and has been rewarded. At home, FC have lost just one of their last five home matches, and if they are to survive the drop, I suspect it'll be the home form that gets them over the line.
Wolfsburg made a great start to the campaign, but lost five of their final eight league games of the year. They have been missing chances in front of goal all season, and scored just 18 times in 17 matches. Away from home, they have lost three of their last four games.
Koln have confidence, and have proven to themselves that they can compete at this level. I'll back them Draw No Bet here at 2.04.
Klinsi won't enjoy Bayern reunion
Hertha Berlin v Bayern Munich Sunday 19 January, 14:30 Live on BT Sport and Betfair Live Video
Bayern Munich go into the year in the unusual position of being chasers rather than leaders, and they have injury and suspension issues. Joshua Kimmich is banned, Serge Gnabry isn't fully fit and both Kingsley Coman and Niklas Sule are out. That said, I still expect the champions to have success against Jurgen Klinsmann's Hertha.
Although the former Bayern coach and player has had an impact at Hertha (eight points from five games, including a fine win at Bayer Leverkusen) I'm still not totally convinced. Klinsmann has tightened Hertha up a bit, but they've only scored more than once in one of his five matches. Record signing Dodi Lukebakio is top scorer with a paltry four goals.
Despite their personnel issues, Bayern can still put out a really strong side here. Under Hansi Flick they have won eight of their ten competitive games, and all eight of those wins were by a margin of at least two goals. I'll back a similar outcome here.