There are two huge Bundesliga games this weekend, and Kevin Hatchard expects plenty of goals in both of them.
Talented attacks to strike sparks
Bayer Leverkusen v Borussia Dortmund Saturday 08 January, 17:30 Live on Betfair Live Video and BT Sport 1
It's been an extraordinary start to 2020 for Borussia Dortmund. Teenage striker Erling Haaland has scored eight goals in his first four competitive games as a BVB player, the club has won all three Bundesliga matches, and has scored five times in each outing. Jadon Sancho continues to dazzle on the flank, and Julian Brandt is developing into one of the best central midfielders in Germany.
However, the 3-2 defeat at Werder Bremen in the DFB Cup was a disastrous result, and a timely reminder of Dortmund's defensive deficiencies. For all of their incredible firepower, Lucien Favre's team has leaked 11 goals in the last six matches in league and cup. It's no surprise that six of Dortmund's last seven competitive games have featured at least four goals.
Bayer Leverkusen suffered a 2-1 defeat Hoffenheim last weekend, and it was a loss that featured some old tropes. Bayer once again missed glaring opportunities in attack, and were caught ball-watching in defence. That combination is likely to lead to excitement this weekend. Five of the last six meetings between the teams have featured at least four goals, including the last four.
I'll back Over 3.5 Goals here at 2.08.
Leaders Bayern to make a statement
Bayern Munich v RB Leipzig Sunday 09 February, 17:00 Live on Betfair Live Video and BT Sport 1
For many neutrals who crave an end to Bayern's domination of the Bundesliga, the last few weeks have taken a familiar and dispiriting turn. The champions have won their last six league games, scoring 23 goals and conceding just three. Under Hansi Flick, Bayern have rediscovered their brutal edge, and stalwarts Thiago and Thomas Muller appear to be back to their best.
While Bayern are flying, former leaders RB Leipzig have begun to falter. They have lost at Eintracht Frankfurt in both the league and the cup, and last weekend they needed a storming second-half fightback to salvage a 2-2 draw against Borussia Monchengladbach. Coach Julian Nagelsmann has publicly questioned his players' appetite for a title fight, challenging them to push for more than just Champions League qualification.
Leipzig have struggled against Bayern since they were promoted to the Bundesliga. They have lost on all three visits to the Allianz Arena, and they were swept aside 3-0 in last season's DFB Cup final. I think Bayern will win again, but this time things will be a little different. Bayern's haphazard 4-3 cup win over Hoffenheim in midweek showed there are still some gaps to exploit, and it's worth noting that the Bavarian giants have conceded at least once in four of their last eight competitive matches, despite their overall improvement.
Leipzig have scored in 27 of their 29 competitive games under Nagelsmann, and with Timo Werner spearheading their attack, and Christopher Nkunku a real danger driving from midfield, it wouldn't surprise me to see RBL grab a goal.
I'll back a Bayern/BTTS double at 11/10 on the Sportsbook.
Gunslinger to hit the target again
Hertha Berlin v Mainz Saturday 08 February, 14:30 Live on Betfair Live Video
There has been a lot of excitement at the Olympiastadion about the arrival of Polish international striker Krzysztof Piatek. The former Milan and Genoa striker is nicknamed Il Pistolero, or The Gunslinger, thanks to his trademark pistol-based celebration. He fired his first successful shot in midweek, as he helped put Hertha Berlin 2-0 up in the DFB Cup at Schalke. Ultimately, Hertha lost 3-2 after extra time, but at least Piatek is off and running.
He should get more chances this weekend, because Hertha are facing one of the worst defences in the Bundesliga. Mainz have lost all three of their matches since the winter break, and they have now lost six of their last seven top-flight games. They have leaked 47 goals in 20 matches, giving them the worst defensive record in the division.
Hertha aren't consistent enough to make me back them to win outright, but I like the look of backing Piatek to score at any time in the 90 minutes. Keep an eye on the team news, and if The Gunslinger starts, back his aim to be true.