Bundesliga Betting: Depleted Union no match for champs

Our Bundesliga expert Kevin Hatchard brings us four selections, and he fancies Bayern Munich to retain top spot.

Table-toppers to enjoy capital adventure

Union Berlin v Bayern Munich
Saturday 12 December, 17:30
Live on BT Sport and Betfair Live Video

Such has been Bayern Munich's excellence in the Champions League, they have been able to cruise through Matchdays Five and Six with few problems, resting a clutch of key players. With such a packed schedule, such collective breathers are vital. On Wednesday, Bayern won 2-0 against Lokomotiv Moscow in Munich, with Robert Lewandowski, Leon Goretzka, Kingsley Coman, Serge Gnabry, Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard left out of the starting XI. There was further good news, as Alphonso Davies rubberstamped his return from injury by starting the match.

A refreshed Bayern face an Union side that has lost creative inspiration Max Kruse to injury and midfield workhorse Robert Andrich to suspension.

Andrich was sent off for a ridiculously reckless challenge in the Berlin derby, a game that Union lost 3-1. Although they have started this season superbly, the next few games could be tricky, especially without Kruse, who has completely transformed the way Union play in attack.

Bayern have won 22 of their last 24 games away from the Allianz Arena, including a 2-0 success at Union last season. In 18 of those 22 victories, Bayern have led at half-time, and that's the bet that appeals here. In both of their victories over Union last term, Bayern had the advantage at the break.

I'll back Bayern/Bayern in the HT/FT market at 1.9, and I'll also back them -1.5 and -2.0 on the Asian Handicap at 1.88. If Bayern win by two goals it's a half-win and if they win by more it's a full win.

Crunch clash to produce goals

Mainz v Köln
Saturday 12 December, 14:30
Live on Betfair Live Video

Mainz were on a bit of a roll until last weekend's 2-1 defeat at Arminia Bielefeld, but then the old demons resurfaced. Mainz were too often second to the ball in a dismal first-half display at the Schuco Arena, and they gave up two preventable goals, although the second from Ritsu Doan did involve some sensational skill. Mainz have now leaked a whopping 24 goals in ten league matches - only rock-bottom Schalke have a worse record.

Fellow strugglers Köln ended their 18-match winless run with a shock success at Borussia Dortmund, and last week they followed that up with a battling 2-2 draw against unbeaten Wolfsburg. Incredibly, both teams have found the net in 20 of the Billy Goats' last 21 Bundesliga matches.

I don't trust either defence here, so I'll back an Over 2.5 Goals/BTTS double at 1.8.

Bayer to boost title push

Bayer Leverkusen v Hoffenheim
Sunday 12 December, 17:00
Live on BT Sport and Betfair Live Video

With all the talk of Germany having four clubs in the last 16 of the Champions League, the efforts of Bayer Leverkusen and Hoffenheim in qualifying for the knockout rounds of the Europa League with time to spare have been somewhat overshadowed. While Bayer have been able to cope with the demands of fighting on two fronts, Hoffenheim have found it a lot tougher.

Hoffenheim's 3-1 win over Augsburg on Monday night was their first league success since they beat Bayern on Matchday Two, and they haven't won a Bundesliga match on the road since Matchday One. They haven't kept a clean sheet in any of their away games in the top flight this term.

Bayer are yet to lose in the league, and although no-one really imagines they'll trouble Bayern in the long term, they are at least in the title race at this stage. Stretching back into last season, they have won four of their last six Bundesliga games at the BayArena, and after starting the league season with three draws, they have won six of their last seven.

Both teams have scored in six of Leverkusen's last eight BL home matches, while BTTS has landed in all but one of Hoffenheim's league games this term. I'll back Bayer to win a lively game, and double up the win bet with Over 2.5 Goals on the Same Game Multi at 2.55.

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