It's been a terrific few days for Borussia Dortmund, and Kevin Hatchard believes they'll win again this weekend.
Dortmund to keep riding the wave
Werder Bremen v Borussia Dortmund Saturday 22 February, 14:30 Live on Betfair Live Video
A thunderous strike of the ball yielded a thunderous wall of noise, as Erling Haaland thrashed in Borussia Dortmund's winner in their 2-1 Champions League victory against PSG. The 19-year-old Norwegian had already put his team in front once in the match with a predatory finish, and his second gave BVB a lead to take to Paris.
Haaland has now scored 11 goals in seven competitive games for Dortmund, but there was more to be impressed by than simply his performance. Extraordinary 17-year-old Gio Reyna looks comfortable on the big stage (his parents Claudio and Danielle were both US internationals) and 19-year-old Jadon Sancho continues to sparkle at every opportunity. The much-criticised defence did give up a poor goal, as Kylian Mbappe was allowed to simply stride through them before teeing up Neymar, but Dortmund have looked more solid in the last two games. The acquisition of Emre Can, who will sign permanently from Juventus in the summer, has added muscle and composure.
Dortmund take their clutch of talented teens to Bremen this weekend, and although BVB recently lost 3-2 at the Weserstadion in the DFB Cup, I have a feeling that this will be a different story. Bremen have the worst home record in the Bundesliga (five points collected) and they were swept aside 3-0 by RB Leipzig last weekend. Werder's defensive deficiencies were plain for all to see in Leipzig - they leaked two goals from set plays (that's 15 for the season according to Opta) and the defending for the third goal left coach Florian Kohfeldt slack-jawed in amazement at how low his team could sink.
Bremen have lost their last four Bundesliga matches, and have been beaten in their last five at home. I'll back Dortmund -1.5 on the Asian Handicap here at [2.03].
Champions to cruise again
Bayern Munich v Paderborn Friday 21 February, 19:30 Live on BT Sport and Betfair Live Video
The champions Bayern Munich have clicked into "Red Juggernaut" mode in the last couple of months, and although they only lead the Bundesliga title race by a point, they are looking ominously good. Hansi Flick's team has won seven of the last eight Bundesliga matches, scoring 27 goals and conceding just four. At Koln last Sunday, they were 3-0 up inside 12 minutes, and went on to cruise to a 4-1 victory.
This weekend the Bavarian giants take on rock-bottom Paderborn, and there's little to go on if you want to make a case for an away success. SCP have lost three of their five Bundesliga matches in 2020, they were smacked 4-1 by Bayer Leverkusen, and their record against Bayern is understandably awful. They have lost all five competitive meetings with the Reds, and earlier this term they lost 3-2.
Bayern are heavy favourites to win here, and I'll back a double using the Sportsbook's Same Game Multi which involves Bayern to be leading at half-time, and there to be five goals or more in the match. Bayern have scored 12 goals in the first 15 minutes of matches, while Paderborn have conceded 13 times in the same period, and three of Bayern's last five games have seen an Over 4.5 Goals bet land.
Eagles to keep flying high
Eintracht Frankfurt v Union Berlin Monday 24 February, 20:30 Live on BT Sport and Betfair Live Video
Eintracht Frankfurt's love affair with the Europa League continued on Thursday, as they shredded Salzburg 4-1. Since the turn of the year, they have beaten Leipzig in league and cup (Red Bull must hate them) and they have swept aside Augsburg 5-0. Admittedly, the Eagles' away form has been far worse, but that won't be an issue when they welcome Union Berlin to the Commerzbank Arena on Monday night.
Union are closing in on their primary target, which is securing at least a second season in the Bundesliga. They suffered an agonising 3-2 home defeat last weekend against Bayer Leverkusen, a game that perhaps showcased the naivete that the team still has at this level.
On the road, Union have lost three of their last four, and they were hammered 5-0 at Borussia Dortmund. Given that Eintracht have one of the best home records in the division, and that they have won all four of their home matches in 2020, I'm pleasantly surprised to find I can back the hosts to win at a price that's just shy of evens.