Bundesliga Betting: Get set for Rhineland rumble

Der Klassiker is the main focus in the Bundesliga this weekend, but Kevin Hatchard has three odds-against selections from the other games.

Clash of underachievers should be fun

Borussia Mönchengladbach v Bayer Leverkusen
Saturday 06 March, 14:30
Live on Betfair Live Video

2021 is turning into an awful year for Rhineland rivals Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen. Gladbach have confirmed that coach Marco Rose is joining Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season, they are heading out of the Champions League after a 2-0 first-leg defeat to Manchester City, and they have just been dumped out of the DFB Cup by Dortmund. Fans are furious about Rose's imminent abdication, but in truth the season was unravelling before that.

Gladbach have struggled to balance the demands of domestic and European competition all season. Although they have secured eye-catching wins over Bayern, Dortmund and RB Leipzig, they have also lost to bottom-half sides Mainz, Köln and Hoffenheim.

Last weekend provided a hefty gut-punch, as they blew a 2-0 half-time lead in a 3-2 defeat at RB Leipzig.

Since the turn of the year, not only have the wheels come off the Bayer Leverkusen wagon, but it has burst into flames and crashed into a wall. They lost to fourth-division opposition in the DFB Cup, they were beaten home and away by Young Boys in the Europa League, and they have collected just nine points from ten league games. The club is standing by coach Peter Bosz, but the Dutchman knows he has to start turning the campaign around, or he risks failing to qualify for Europe entirely.

Both teams have fallen apart defensively, and that's the basis of our bet here. Leverkusen have conceded at least twice in six of their last seven competitive games, while Gladbach have done the same in four of their last six. When the teams last met, they played out a seven-goal thriller, and three of their last five clashes have seen an Over 3.5 Goals bet land. I'll back Over 3.5 Goals here at 2.72.

Leipzig to apply pressure

Freiburg v RB Leipzig
Saturday 06 March, 14:30
Live on Betfair Live Video

RB Leipzig are still in the mix in three competitions, and could be on course for a glittering end to the season. Although their Champions League cause looks a forlorn one, as they trail Liverpool 2-0 from the first leg, they are through to the DFB Cup semi-finals and are just two points off top spot in the league. By the time Bayern line up against Borussia Dortmund, Leipzig may have replaced them at the top of the table.

Sometimes seasons are defined by individual moments, and Leipzig might have had their moment last weekend. They trailed Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-0 at half time, but came back to win 3-2, as Alexander Sorloth grabbed the winner with the last meaningful act of the game. They have won their last five league matches, and they have taken maximum points from four of their last six on the road.

Freiburg are on a high after beating Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund recently, but without wishing to take too much away from Christian Streich's side, those wins owed a lot to the defensive deficiencies and inefficient finishing of their opponents. Freiburg lost the Expected Goals battle in both of those games, as they have done in seven of their last eight matches. Although they are used to doing a lot with a little, it seems unlikely that the Black Forest side will be able to end up in the European places.

Leipzig have a strong away record against sides outside the top six, and I think they'll be too strong here for a game but limited Freiburg. Back the visitors -1.0 on the Asian Handicap at 2.2.

Wounded Wolves to bounce back

Hoffenheim v Wolfsburg
Saturday 06 March, 14:30
Live on Betfair Live Video

Wolfsburg had two unsettling and unfamiliar sensations on Wednesday. They conceded a goal for the first time since January the third, and then went on to lose for the first time since then, as they were beaten 2-0 at RB Leipzig in the quarter-finals of the DFB Cup. There is still something significant to salvage this season though, as Oliver Glasner's side is still on course to qualify for the Champions League. A run of six wins and a draw from the last seven matchdays has propelled die Wölfe into the top three.

Hoffenheim must envy Wolfsburg's consistency. Having tumbled out of the Europa League to Molde, their season is effectively over, with the only remaining task the collection of the handful of points needed to keep them in the division. Coach Sebastian Hoeness is the subject of plenty of speculation regarding his future, although sporting director Alexander Rosen has angrily insisted that rumours predicting a coaching change are entirely false.

Wolfsburg will do what they always do, which is try to control the tempo and keep things tight. Centre-backs Maxence Lacroix and John Brooks have been outstanding this season, and behind them, goalkeeper Koen Casteels is one of the best in the division. Their last nine games have all featured fewer than four goals, and I can't see Hoffenheim beating them. Let's combine a Wolfsburg/Draw Double Chance bet with Under 3.5 Goals at 2.06 on the Sportsbook's Same Game Multi.

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