Two of the Bundesliga’s best sides go head-to-head this Saturday, and Kevin Hatchard thinks we’ll see plenty of goals between Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig.
Big guns to keep firing
Borussia Dortmund v RB Leipzig
Saturday 02 April, 17:30
Live on Sky Sports and Betfair Live Video
Borussia Dortmund’s hopes of upsetting Bayern Munich and winning a shock Bundesliga title were dented before the international break, as BVB were held to a 1-1 draw at Köln. The gap between the top two is now six points, although Dortmund do still have a trip to Bayern at the end of April, so all is not lost.
It’s been a mixed first season in charge for coach Marco Rose. The team’s performances in European competition were a huge disappointment, as Dortmund crashed out of the Champions League, and then the Europa League. In both tournaments, the side’s defensive frailties were repeatedly exposed. However, it has been a strong Bundesliga campaign, especially when you consider that star striker Erling Haaland has only been able to start 14 out of 27 league games. Injury has also restricted American starlet Gio Reyna to eight league appearances, while Raphael Guerreiro has also been hampered by a series of niggles. Had those three been fully fit all season, it could have been a different story.
RB Leipzig were expected to challenge for the title this term, but they made an awful start under Jesse Marsch, who found the Herculean task of replacing Julian Nagelsmann as coach too taxing.
A group of players that had become used to Nagelsmann’s tactically flexible approach couldn’t bring themselves to go back to the Red Bull playbook of fast-paced, vertical football.
Marsch was jettisoned, and his replacement Domenico Tedesco (who finished with better marks than Nagelsmann in their coaching course) has excelled. Leipzig are into the semi-finals of the DFB Cup, the quarter-finals of the Europa League, and they are back in the Bundesliga’s top four. The form of Christopher Nkunku has been exceptional (15 Bundesliga goals and nine assists), and he is getting good support from striker Andre Silva and Spanish star Dani Olmo, who’s return from injury has been perfectly timed.
Games between these two are usually action-packed, and I see no reason why this edition should be any different. A draw isn’t much good to either side, and six of the last ten encounters have featured at least four goals. The potential absence of Haaland due to ankle and foot injuries is a blow to goals backers, but Marco Reus is fit, and has an excellent record against Leipzig. Ten of Dortmund’s last 15 Bundesliga home matches have featured four goals or more, and their home games against Bayern and Bayer Leverkusen this term ended 2-3 and 2-5.
I’ll back Over 3.5 Goals here at 2.486/4.
Hoffenheim to bounce back
Hoffenheim v Bochum
Saturday 02 April, 14:30
Live on Betfair Live Video
One of the most shocking results of the last matchday was Hoffenheim’s 3-0 hammering at Hertha Berlin. All three goals came from set plays, as the Sinsheim club turned in one of their most careless performances of the season. Because UCL qualification rivals RB Leipzig and Freiburg drew their games 0-0, TSG largely got away with their snafu in the capital.
However, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that Hoffe will recover this weekend. Their home record is excellent, with eight wins from the last 11 Bundesliga games at the PreZero Arena. The only exceptions were a draw with Bayern, a defeat to Borussia Dortmund and a draw with Borussia Mönchengladbach. In nine of those 11 matches, Sebastian Hoeness’ team has scored at least twice.
Bochum are yet to secure their Bundesliga status ahead of next season, and their last top-flight game ended in hugely disappointing fashion, as a cup of beer thrown from the crowd struck assistant referee Christian Gittelmann on the head. The match was abandoned, and Bochum’s opponents Gladbach were awarded a 2-0 win. Just eight of Bochum’s 32 points have been collected on the road, and they have taken just two points from the last five road trips.
I’ll back the hosts -1.0 on the Asian Handicap here at 1.845/6. They are scoring freely and winning regularly at home, the likes of Ilhas Bebou and Florian Grillitsch are back after COVID-19, and I believe Hoffenheim will outclass their opponents here.
Frankfurt to maintain focus
Eintracht Frankfurt v Greuther Fürth
Saturday 02 April, 14:30
Live on Betfair Live Video
Eintracht Frankfurt have one of the biggest games in their recent history on the horizon. Next Thursday, SGE will welcome mighty Barcelona to Deutsche Bank Park in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final, so players will be keen to impress to catch the eye of coach Oliver Glasner. It’s been a strange season for the Eagles, and the UEL run has been the saving grace. In the league, Frankfurt have been consistently inconsistent, with ten wins, eight draws and nine defeats.
However, I’m confident they can overcome the worst team in the division. Fürth have made a decent fist of things in recent weeks, but they are atrocious on the road (they have lost all but one of their away games), and they are 11 points adrift of safety with just seven matchdays left.
It’s not a particularly racy price, but I’ll back Frankfurt -1.0 here at 1.758/11 on the Asian Handicap. Fürth have already suffered ten away losses by two goals or more.
Source: BetFair Tips