Raphael Honigstein's Bundesliga Betting: Schalke Will Bounce Back From Leipzig Loss And Ignore Lewandowski At Your Peril


Friday

Eintracht Frankfurt v TSG Hoffenheim

Frankfurt and Hoffenheim are the two most improved sides in the Bundesliga this season. Back when they faced each other in April, they were battling relegation but now they both occupy European places. This should be a very evenly matched game too, particularly with Hoffenheim yet to lose in the Bundesliga this season, whilst Eintracht have been strong at home. The away side might well take most of the possession but Bayern, Dortmund, Schalke and Leverkusen have all failed to win at Frankfurt this season. Back Niko Kovac’s side to just about get the better of Hoffenheim at 2.40.

 

Saturday

1. FC Köln v Borussia Dortmund

Dortmund were by no means convincing throughout at the Bernabeu on Wednesday but Thomas Tuchel’s young side still deserve enormous credit. To come back from two down and draw 2-2 with Real Madrid is no mean feat. Now comes the part that Dortmund have struggled with this season – following up good results.

Their prospects in Cologne are improved by the fact that the home side’s form has started to decline of late. That’s down to a raft of injuries which has ruled out a host of key players such as Timo Horn, Matthias Lehmann, Marcel Risse and Leanardo Bittencourt. Dortmund can certainly sympathise with having an injury crisis but they’re unlikely to be that sympathetic on the pitch. It’s best to plump for an away win at 1.66.

 

Bayern Munich v VfL Wolfsburg

You might remember that Robert Lewandowski scored five in nine minutes in this fixture last season and as it happens, he’s looked in decent nick in the last week too. He scored from a free kick (for the second time in five days) to guide Bayern past Atlético in the Champions League on Tuesday.

You might remember too that it was only earlier this year that Wolfsburg were actually playing in the Champions League. Memories of them beating Real Madrid though are a distant memory for Valerien Ismael’s side who are now embroiled in a relegation battle. They look ripe for the taking for an improving Bayern side, so pick Lewandowski to score first at 3.15.

 

SC Freiburg v SV Darmstadt

Freiburg showed their mettle by drawing at Leverkusen last week. They had goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow to thank for their point after a stunning performance. Christian Streich’s side did create enough to win the game, showing that they should be too good for a relegation battle this season. The game against Darmstadt will be a good indicator of that though.

The away side sacked Norbert Meier on Monday after five straight defeats. Usually, you might expect a bounce after a coach leaves but Darmstadt have the weakest squad in the division. This should be a straightforward home win for Freiburg at 1.70.

 

Hamburg SV v FC Augsburg

At long last Hamburg registered their first Bundesliga win of the season albeit at fellow strugglers Darmstadt. If they are to survive though, they need to start stringing some victories together at home. Their next test is a tricky one too with former Darmstadt coach Dirk Schuster having made Augsburg a tough side to beat.

Their last three games have been draws against top half opposition but they have lacked an incisive touch in front of goal. When you play this current Hamburg side, the quality of the chances you get usually increases. On this occasion, you’re still best off then to back an away win for Augsburg at 3.30.

 

FC Ingolstadt v RB Leipzig

Ralph Hasenhüttl returns to Ingolstadt with his former club last in the Bundesliga table. He probably didn’t anticipate back when he left in the summer that he’d be top of the table with Leipzig at this stage. Ingolstadt have not necessarily played the worst football in the division this season but they have looked short up front. League leaders Leipzig look anything but blunt and even if they overcame Schalke with more than slice of fortune, the trip to Ingolstadt should be simple enough. Make it a winning return for Hasenhüttl at 1.75.

 

Hertha BSC v SV Werder Bremen

Werder came up with a vital win last weekend in their six pointer against Ingolstadt. Facing Hertha will be a big step up for Alexander Nouri’s side. Hertha stand side by side with Juventus as the only sides in Europe’s top five divisions who have won all of their home games so far this season. They pinched a victory at Wolfsburg last week too to push them up into third. Hertha are in fact winless in their last five games against Werder Bremen. Yet no other Hertha team in the club’s history has been in a better position at this stage of the season than Pal Dardai’s charges. Expect that to still be the case after this weekend – with a home win at 1.75.

 

Sunday

Borussia Mönchengladbach v 1. FSV Mainz 05

Wednesday evening saw Gladbach get taken apart at the Camp Nou but that wasn’t the most important game of the week for the club. Mainz’s visit to the Borussia Park is a must win for André Schubert after the club’s winless run in the Bundesliga stretched to eight last weekend. Mainz arrive after a meaningless victory against Qabala in the Europa League.

Striker Jhon Cordoba is out suspended but Mainz are still capable of causing problems to what is a fragile Gladbach team. However, the main issue for Gladbach has been taking their chances. Mainz have been pretty feeble on the road recently so back the home side to end their winless run at 1.75.

 

Schalke 04 v Bayer Leverkusen

Schalke had their twelve-game unbeaten streak broken by RB Leipzig last weekend and that was followed up by a defeat to RB Salzburg on Thursday. Markus Weinzierl will probably be happy then that they’re facing a team that isn’t backed by Red Bull on Sunday. Leverkusen beat Monaco quite comfortably in the end on Wednesday but Roger Schmidt’s side still haven’t convinced this season in anywhere near the same way as they did at the end of the previous campaign.

Both sides were able to rest some players during the week but the home team won’t have Benedikt Höwedes due to suspension. Schalke should not be too downbeat despite their defeat at Leipzig last Saturday. With Leverkusen looking particularly blunt up front recently, it’s best to back a home win at 2.30.