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Bundesliga Predictions and Best Bets – January 8-10, 2021
Can anyone stop Bayern Munich from picking up a ninth successive Bundesliga title this year? RB Leipzig, Bayer Leverkusen, and Borussia Dortmund look to be the ones to give it the best go, but Hansi Flick’s side is in incredible form at the moment.
The German top-flight returned from a short winter break last weekend, and results went largely as predicted – although there were a few worries for the champions in the first half of their game against Mainz.
This weekend sees another nine games on matchday 15 – and I will be taking a look at all of them, as well as picking out three potential bets to consider.
Bayern Munich to Beat Borussia Monchengladbach
It is looking worryingly familiar for the rest of the league this season, as Bayern continues to dominate the Bundesliga once again. There were a few draws earlier in the season, but the 5-2 win over Mainz last weekend extended the unbeaten streak to 12 games now. There was a slight scare as Mainz went two goals up in the first half. But normal service was resumed early on in the second period. Leroy Sane will probably start here, as Serge Gnabry is doubtful.
Marcus Thuram is still suspended for the Foals after his disgraceful spitting incident in the game against Hoffenheim, so Breel Embolo will be given another chance to extend his goal-scoring form. The return of Alessandro Plea from injury is also good news for Monchengladbach. But the win over Bielefeld last weekend was the first in five games, and Marco Rose’s side will need to improve if it is to push for a Champions League spot again.
Bayer Leverkusen to Beat Werder Bremen
After 12 games, unbeaten Leverkusen lost to Bayern just before Christmas – and then last weekend away to Eintracht Frankfurt. Peter Bosz’s side was leading in both those games, and he will now have to work out how to get his team to see out a victory before the rest of the league catch up. Leverkusen has already allowed Bayern back at the top of the table, and there is not much between the top six now.
Even so, Leverkusen should be able to see off Werder Bremen without too much trouble on Saturday. There has been just one victory since the middle of October for Florian Kohfeldt’s side – and he must be hoping that Milot Rashica will be back soon to help a misfiring Josh Sargent score some much-needed goals. The defeat to Union Berlin last time out was hardly a surprise, but a change in fortune is long overdue now.
Schalke and Hoffenheim to Draw
Will Schalke finally escape the record for consecutive games without a win in the Bundesliga? New head coach Christian Gross was unable to stop the rot last weekend as the Royal Blues lost 3-0 to Hertha Berlin. If Hoffenheim does anything but lose on Saturday, Schalke will equal the record of 31 games without a top-flight win, set by Tasmania Berlin in 1966. I can’t see how Schalke can win a game at the moment – but this could end in a draw.
That’s because Hoffenheim has not enjoyed a very good run of form itself over the last few months. For every good win, there have been two or three poor performances from Sebastian Hoeness’ side and the home defeat at the hands of Freiburg last week saw Hoffenheim drop down into 13th – its lowest point of the season so far. With a number of injuries, Andrej Kramaric will be looked to for the goals on Saturday.
Freiburg to Beat Koln
After starting December with just one win to its name all season, Freiburg is now in fine form – with the goals of Vincenzo Grifo playing a big part in the team’s climb up the table. It is six games unbeaten for the Black Forest club now, with the last four games won by at least two goals each time. The 3-1 win away at Hoffenheim last weekend sets Freiburg up nicely to face a struggling Koln on Saturday.
The Billy Goats continue to lack consistency and flirt with the relegation places. The goalless draw away at Leipzig just before Christmas suggested the most recent results had not been a fluke and that Koln could start to climb up the table itself. But Markus Gisdol’s side was brought down with a bump last weekend as it lost at home to Augsburg – and it could be in for further disappointment at Freiburg.
Union Berlin and Wolfsburg to Draw
It is another big test for Union Berlin this weekend as it welcomes fellow European qualification challengers Wolfsburg to the Stadion An der Alten Forsterei on Saturday. Urs Fischer’s team has risen to every opponent so far (apart from the Berlin derby defeat to Hertha) and will believe that it can see off a very impressive Wolfsburg even without star man Max Kruse.
But Wolfsburg will probably feel slightly aggrieved that it came away from the Westfalenstadion without at least a point last week, as it gave Dortmund a good game before losing 2-0. The second goal for the hosts came in stoppage time, but Wolfsburg should really have made its domination in the opening half hour tell. It will need to be more decisive if it is to manage a positive result in the capital.
Eintracht Frankfurt to Beat Mainz
Mainz has announced that it will be former player Bo Svensson that will take over as head coach at the relegation-threatened club – and his immediate priority will be to win some games. Interim manager Jan Siewert looked like he might be pulling off the result of the season last week when Mainz went 2-0 up in the Allianz Arena. But Bayern hit back with five goals and kept the 05ers in the bottom three.
After failing to deal with Robert Lewandowski and the other numerous attacking threats last week, Mainz will need to stop Andre Silva on Saturday. The Portuguese Frankfurt striker is on a hot run of form, having scored nine goals in 13 starts – and will be looking to add to his tally this weekend. He didn’t find the net in the excellent win over Leverkusen last time out but will be the main threat here.
RB Leipzig to Beat Borussia Dortmund
This is probably the biggest game in the Bundesliga this weekend as Dortmund look to move back into the title-challenging spots with a win in Leipzig. But Julian Nagelsmann’s side has by far the best defensive record in the league this season, having only conceded nine goals in 14 games. Dayot Upamecano is the main reason why that record might still be intact by the end of matchday 15. Emil Forsberg will probably be relied on to score up the other end.
But the biggest battle of the day will be between the Leipzig defense and Erling Haaland. The Norwegian striker returned to action last week against Wolfsburg but was unable to add to his ten goals this season. Teenager Youssoufa Moukoko missed out on teaming up with Haaland in that game but could come back from injury to give the home side some more problems here. This should be an enthralling fixture.
Stuttgart to Beat Augsburg
Augsburg kicked off its new year in the best possible way by beating Koln by one goal to move up to 10th in the table. Heiko Herrlich’s team has rarely looked to have the killer instinct this season, so a second win in three has to be taken as a huge plus. Goals have been very hard to come by – and the main reason why Augsburg languishes in mid-table – but it might not get too many chances on Sunday against a good Stuttgart team.
That is a stuttering Stuttgart, though, as Pellegrino Matarazzo’s team has lost two in a row now and fallen back down into the bottom half of the table – and even below Sunday’s opponent. The 5-1 win away at Dortmund, and the draw with Union Berlin seem a long time ago all of a sudden. It was just a 1-0 defeat to RB Leipzig last weekend, but Stuttgart never really looked like getting anything from the game. Three points here would certainly improve spirits at the club.
Hertha Berlin to Beat Arminia Bielefeld
Arminia Bielefeld was able to beat Schalke just before Christmas to ensure that it wasn’t the club in the Bundesliga with the most to turn around in 2021. But last week’s defeat at home to Monchengladbach showed that there is still a lot of work to be done. The 1-0 scoreline does suggest that there is some hope for Uwe Neuhaus’ side, but it is always going to be struggling against bigger and wealthier clubs this season.
Hertha would definitely fall into that category – even if its lack of success in recent years goes against the amount of money it spends in the pursuit of glory. But Bruno Labbadia has settled the squad from the farce of last season and has his team playing some nice soccer the majority of the time. The league position could be vastly improved, but the 3-0 win over a hapless Schalke was very convincing last weekend – and Hertha should be able to beat Bielefeld this Sunday too.
My Top Bundesliga Picks for January 8-10, 2021
Here are my three picks in the Bundesliga for matchday 15. Odds are courtesy of Betway.
- Union Berlin and Wolfsburg to draw – 3.30
- RB Leipzig to beat Borussia Dortmund– 3.60
- Hertha Berlin to beat Arminia Bielefeld – 2.05
Union Berlin has proved a lot of media pundits wrong this season, as it has succeeded even without the backing of its partisan support at home. The whole squad has raised its game – especially since the absence of Max Kruse – and a draw against a good Wolfsburg side on Saturday is certainly possible.
In the really big game of the weekend, I’m going for RB Leipzig’s formidable defense to deal with the huge attacking threat of Borussia Dortmund and sneak a goal or two for itself. Whatever the result here, this promises to be a great game.
My final pick of the weekend is for the last game on matchday 15 – and for Hertha to continue its improvement by beating Arminia Bielefeld. It looks like being a slow comeback for the Old Lady, but there should be a lot of happy Berliners at the end of the weekend.
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