Bundesliga Betting: Lewandowski can light up a cracker

After starting the season with three winners from three selections, Kevin Hatchard has another set of picks for us ahead of Matchday Two.

Billy Goats to contribute to a thriller

Bayern Munich v Köln
Sunday 22 August, 16:30
Live on Sky Sports and Betfair Live Video

Football lost a true icon this week, as Gerd Müller passed away at the age of 75. The Bayern Munich legend remains the most prolific goal-scorer in Bundesliga history, and he averaged better than a goal a game at international level with West Germany. He scored winning goals in World Cup and European Championship finals, and found the net in multiple European Cup finals. He was a goalscorer in the biggest games, the smallest games and everything in-between.

It's fitting that in the course of equalling Müller's long-held single-season scoring record of 40 goals last term, Robert Lewandowski lifted his jersey to reveal a T-shirt with Müller's image. The Polish phenomenon went on to break that record in the final stages of the final league match of the season, and he has been fulsome in his praise of his poaching predecessor.

Like Müller, Lewandowski has consistently put up dizzying numbers, and this season appears to be no exception. He netted the equaliser in the opening-night 1-1 draw at Borussia Mönchengladbach, and he looked incredibly sharp in Tuesday's 3-1 DFL Supercup win over Borussia Dortmund, a game that saw him net a brace.

I suspect Lewandowski will get plenty of chances to score against a Köln team that will play exciting football this term under coach Steffen Baumgart. The former Paderborn boss likes to play on the front foot and take risks, and his side came back from an early blow superbly in last weekend's 3-1 win over Hertha Berlin. It's also worth noting that these two met in a pre-season friendly, and although Köln's 3-2 victory isn't hugely relevant because of the players Bayern were missing, the fact that Baumgart was willing to attack the champions is worth noting. Bayern's chances of keeping a clean sheet will also be diminished by an ankle injury for goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

Four of the last five Bundesliga meetings between these sides have featured at least four goals, and I think we'll see another eye-catching encounter here. I'll back Over 3.5 Goals and Lewandowski on the Sportsbook's Bet Builder (see offer below) at evens.

Mainz can beat the odds again

Bochum v Mainz
Saturday 21 August, 14:30
Live on Betfair Live Video

Mainz pulled off one of the most impressive results anywhere in Europe last weekend. With a clutch of players in quarantine after a COVID-19 outbreak, ZeroFivers boss Bo Svensson was forced to call up a number of players from the Under-23s, and yet the patched-up side performed heroically in a 1-0 victory against title hopefuls RB Leipzig.

The win over the Red Bulls encapsulated everything that has been good about Mainz since Svensson took charge - the team went into tackles like their lives depended on them, they were well organised and they carried a goal threat.

Bochum also worked hard at the weekend, but the reigning Bundesliga 2. champions suffered a 1-0 defeat at Wolfsburg in their first Bundesliga match for 11 years. Midfielder Robert Tesche was sent off in only the fourth minute for handball (Bochum's earliest ever top-flight red card), and only a stunning series of saves from long-serving keeper Manuel Riemann kept the score down.

Grim for Greuther again

Greuther Furth v Arminia Bielefeld
Saturday 21 August, 14:30
Live on Betfair Live Video

I suggested in both my season preview and MD1 previews that Greuther Furth will struggle in the top flight this term, and they were duly thrashed 5-1 by Stuttgart last weekend. What will alarm coach Stefan Leitl the most is that his team gave away some horrible goals from set plays - it's one thing to be shredded by a quality side, it's entirely another to be gifting goals to the opposition.

The signing of Hamburg's Jeremy Dudziak is a small step in the right direction, but a lot more work is needed, and Furth simply don't have the funds to do it. Winning promotion to the top tier was a pleasant surprise, but this is a club that wisely isn't going to bankrupt themselves to stay in the glare of the bright lights.

Arminia Bielefeld drew 0-0 with Freiburg last week, and have now lost just two of their last 11 Bundesliga matches. I had serious doubts about whether coach Frank Kramer could drag them out of trouble last term, but he managed it by grinding out results. It helps that goalkeeper Stefan Ortega is one of the best in the league, and while questions remain over where the goals are going to come from this term, I can't understand why Arminia are outsiders here. I'll back them +0 on the Asian Handicap at 2.02.

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