Borussen clash to light the spark
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Borussia Dortmund
Saturday 25 September, 17:30
Live on Sky Sports and Betfair Live Video
All eyes are on Borussia Dortmund coach Marco Rose, as he returns to the club where he spent the previous two seasons. Rose’s move, announced long before it actually happened, was seen as a bitter betrayal by some Gladbach fans. The Leipzig-born coach isn’t expecting a universally warm welcome.
Rose led Gladbach to the last 16 of the Champions League last term, and he is catching the eye in his early weeks as Dortmund boss. BVB are playing thrilling, goal-filled football, and they are very much in the Bundesliga title race. Teenage midfielder Jude Bellingham is already one of the most exciting young players in the league, and Erling Haaland has already smashed in 11 goals in all competitions, including a thrilling brace in the 4-2 win over Union Berlin last weekend.
While Rose’s move is working out for Dortmund, the coaching upheaval hasn’t helped his old club Gladbach yet. His replacement Adi Hütter has had a tough start, with just four points collected from five games. Hütter certainly won’t panic (he made a bad start at Eintracht Frankfurt before recovering to do some excellent work), and he can point to some rotten luck with injuries.
The play is goals here, with Over 3.5 Goals fairly priced in my view at 1.9420/21. That bet has paid out in four of Dortmund’s five league games, and the fragile-looking Gladbach defence has already conceded nine goals. The way Rose plays lends itself to a wide-open contest, and the Gladbach players will be pumped up to face a coach who some believe left Borussia Park too early.
Kimmich can supply the ammunition
Greuther Fürth v Bayern Munich
Friday 24 September, 19:30
Live on Sky Sports and Betfair Live Video
As mismatches go, this might be the biggest of the season so far. Having drawn their season opener 1-1 at Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bayern have reeled off seven straight wins across four different competitions, and they have scored a dizzying 37 goals in the process, netting at least three goals each time. The record champions have scored in 79 straight competitive games (a record for a club in Europe’s top five leagues) and they have scored in their last 36 away matches in the German top flight.
Star striker Robert Lewandowski received the Golden Shoe award this week for his 41-goal haul in the Bundesliga last season, and he continues to take a blowtorch to the record books. He has scored in 19 straight games for Bayern, and if he finds the net on Friday night, he’ll draw level with the great Gerd Müller on 16 consecutive Bundesliga games with a goal. The last time he failed to score in a competitive game for the Bavarian giants was in February.
Of course, it’s not just about who scores the goals, it’s about who sets them up too. Joshua Kimmich is a regular source of assists – the German international already has three Bundesliga assist this term, and he has 40 assists across the previous four seasons. Given that Bayern will dominate this game, and should get lots of set plays, I like the look of backing Kimmich in the Anytime Assist market at 3.02/1 on the Sportsbook.
Fürth have looked vulnerable at set plays, they have leaked 13 goals in five league matches, and they have claimed just a point so far. Stefan Leitl’s side looks to be out of its depth at this level, and Bayern seem to be in the mood to expose those weaknesses.
Struggling Eagles are too short
Eintracht Frankfurt v Köln
Saturday 25 September, 14:30
Live on Betfair Live Video
Oliver Glasner’s search for a first win as Eintracht Frankfurt coach continues, and even though he picked up a 1-1 draw at his old club Wolfsburg last weekend, the Eagles rode their luck towards the end. The Austrian tactician still hasn’t been able to find the right balance between attack and defence, and he’s a long way from whipping his fragile defence into shape.
Köln seem far more confident and at ease with how they want to play. Former Paderborn coach Stefan Baumgart has won hearts and minds very quickly with an attacking style that chimes with the club’s traditions, and results have followed. Köln only avoided the drop via the relegation play-off last term, but they already look likely to stay well clear of the dropzone this time around.
The revival of striker Anthony Modeste has been a central plank of the Billy Goats’ success. The Frenchman has already banged in four league goals, and crucially, he seems to finally be enjoying himself again. With talented ball-players like Mark Uth and Ondrej Duda in support, Modeste is thriving.
Köln have only lost once in the league, and that was at Bayern, so they are more than capable of picking up at least a point here. I’ll keep things simple and lay Eintracht Frankfurt at evens.