Bundesliga Betting: Leipzig to light up title race
There is just one point separating Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich from RB Leipzig, and Kevin Hatchard thinks Leipzig can ramp up the pressure this weekend.
Bremen to suffer another blow
RB Leipzig v Werder Bremen Saturday 15 February, 14:30 Live on Betfair Live Video
These are dark times for Werder Bremen. Despite the recent DFB Cup win over Borussia Dortmund, the northern giants are in a mess, stuck in the automatic relegation zone with 13 league games left to save themselves. Last weekend's 2-0 home defeat to Union Berlin was a total disaster, and it showcased the total lack of confidence at both ends of the field. Bremen have now failed to score in five of their last eight top-flight matches, and have conceded 20 goals in that sequence. Coach Florian Kohfeldt has been given staunch backing by sporting director Frank Baumann, and it's even been suggested that the highly-rated tactician would keep his job even if SVW were relegated.
RB Leipzig had a wobble recently, losing at Eintracht Frankfurt in league and cup, and drawing 2-2 with Borussia Monchengladbach. However, their goalless draw at title rivals Bayern Munich restored faith, especially after a second-half display that saw Die Roten Bullen create and miss several excellent chances. As coach Julian Nagelsmann was right to point out, there aren't many teams that come away with a clean sheet from a trip to the Allianz Arena.
Leipzig have won five of their last six Bundesliga home matches, and it's difficult to see Bremen causing them many problems here. I'll back the hosts -1.5 & -2.0 on the Asian Handicap at 1.90.
Wolves to be declawed
Hoffenheim v Wolfsburg Saturday 15 February, 14:30 Live on Betfair Live Video
I must admit that I've been surprised by Hoffenheim's progress under new coach Alfred Schreuder. They made a muddled and rather dull start to their campaign, but something has really clicked in the last couple of months. Even though TSG lost at Freiburg last weekend, they actually produced a good attacking display, and ran into an in-form goalkeeper in Alexander Schwolow.
Star striker Andrej Kramaric and supersub Sargis Adamyan are expected to return from injury, and they'll hope to fire Hoffe to a third home win in four matches. Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen have recently fallen flat in Sinsheim, and I think Wolfsburg will suffer the same fate.
Wolfsburg started the season well, but they have collapsed in recent months. They have won just three of their last 14 Bundesliga games, and they have lost three of their last four away matches. Only Fortuna Dusseldorf have a worse attacking record, and they haven't kept a clean sheet since late November.
I'll back the hosts 0 on the Asian Handicap at 1.84.
Dortmund to recover with lively win
Borussia Dortmund v Eintracht Frankfurt Friday 14 January, 19:30 Live on BT Sport and Betfair Live Video
With the top two cancelling each other out last weekend, Borussia Dortmund missed a huge opportunity by collapsing to a 4-3 defeat at Bayer Leverkusen. They were 2-1 and 3-2 up, but their old defensive demons resurfaced as they conceded two eminently preventable goals. Recent signing Emre Can scored a stunning curler in a losing cause on his Bundesliga debut for BVB, and disturbingly suggested in a post-match interview that his new team-mates didn't really seem to know how to set up defensively.
At least the attacking part of Dortmund's team is working. Lucien Favre's side has scored 25 goals in five competitive matches in 2020, Jadon Sancho is playing incredible football (he's been involved in 25 out of Dortmund's 59 league goals) and Erling Haaland now averages better than a goal a game this season in the Austrian Bundesliga, the German Bundesliga and the Champions League.
If ever there was a positive advert for a winter break, it's Eintracht Frankfurt. They have been reinvigorated by the "winterpause" - they beat Leipzig in the league and the DFB Cup, they won at Hoffenheim, and last Friday they destroyed Augsburg 5-0. Left-winger Filip Kostic is rattling in the goals (five in the last four games) and bizarrely so is US international Timothy Chandler. Usually, Chandler goals are as rare as a character change in EastEnders (how are Phil and Sharon still in it?) but he has scored four times in the Bundesliga since the turn of the year.
That said, Frankfurt are still vulnerable on their travels. They have lost five of their last seven away games in the league, and they were dreadful in their most recent road match, grabbing a last-gasp equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Fortuna Dusseldorf.
I think Frankfurt can grab a goal, but I expect Dortmund to win the game. I'll back a Dortmund/BTTS double at 11/10 on the Sportsbook, and I'll also go for Over 3.5 Goals on the Exchange at 1.87. That bet has paid out in all five of Dortmund's competitive games since the turn of the year, and it's landed in their last five Bundesliga matches at Signal Iduna Park.