Monthly Archives: April 2013

Bundesliga Review – Gripping finale aside from Klassiker pair by Archie Rhind-Tutt

Oh have you not heard? I was under the impression that everyone had heard. Well, no – in this case the bird isn’t the word but the Bundesliga certainly is. The semi finals of the Champions League produced nights to treasure for Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund as der Klassiker outclassed El Clásico.

Things were closer back in Germany at the weekend for both, though that’s not too surprising with Jupp Heynckes and Jürgen Klopp making a combined 20 changes. Still, narrow victories were achieved over Freiburg and Fortuna Düsseldorf respectively. But with the title race over and three games left, Bayern and Borussia are not the main points of interest in the Bundesliga – that’s to be found in another pair: the race for the fourth Champions League place, and the struggle to avoid relegation.

The former has been characterised with just as much mediocrity as you might expect with the latter. Prior to this weekend, four points separated the five sides between 4th and 8th. Schalke though had Klaas-Jan Huntelaar back from injury and the man nicknamed “the Hunter” displayed his predatory instinct by netting a hat-trick against Hamburg. If you allow Huntelaar, the Torjӓgerkanone winner last season, nine shots on goal as HSV did, then a hat-trick is perhaps the least damage you can expect. That win for Schalke put some distance between them and the chasing pack of four – none of whom won at the weekend.

With Eintracht Frankfurt drawing with Mainz, Freiburg coming away with what is now considered a credible result at the Allianz Arena (a 1-0 loss) and Gladbach being comfortably beaten at a quietly resurgent Wolfsburg, Schalke would appear to be favourites for fourth. Yet with away games to come at Gladbach and Freiburg, it’s far from a certainty.

That applies too when it comes to survival where the likes of Werder Bremen and Fortuna Düsseldorf have been drawn into the mire. The reason for that is, in the main, Augsburg. Markus Weinzierl’s side only won 1 Bundesliga game in the Hinrunde. Such has been their form in the second half of the season, coupled with the demise of sides above, Augsburg have accrued more points in the Rückrunde than Werder and Fortuna put together. Their resurgence continued at the weekend as they equalled their biggest Bundesliga win, turning over Stuttgart 3-0 with Marcel De Jong scoring a 30-yard chip just 73 seconds after coming on.

The result drew them level with Fortuna (defeated by Borussia Dortmund) and within two points of Werder Bremen (lost at Bayer Leverkusen). Augsburg must still be wary with Hoffenheim showing signs of life. They overcame Nürnberg but with an inferior goal difference to those above them, two wins out of their final three still might not be enough to secure even the “relative” safety of the relegation/play off place.

The only side at the bottom to have been relegated is Greuther Fürth. It’s alarming that it’s taken until this weekend for that to become official. That said, they dominated Hannover for long spells on Friday night but somehow Frank Kramer’s side fell to defeat, meaning they’re in danger of becoming the first Bundesliga team ever to go a whole season without winning a home game.

Still with three games to go, the focus of where the remaining meaningful fixtures in the Bundesliga lie appears to be away from Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund – though you do know that they’re playing this weekend for the fourth time this season, right?

Matchday 31 Results:

Greuther Fürth 2-3 Hannover

Augsburg 3-0 Stuttgart

Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 Werder Bremen

Bayern Munich 1-0 Freiburg

Fortuna Düsseldorf 1-2 Borussia Dortmund

Hoffenheim 2-1 Nürnberg

Wolfsburg 3-1 Gladbach

Mainz 0-0 Eintracht Frankfurt

Schalke 4-1 Hamburg

Table:

Rank Club Matches W* D* L* G* GD* Pts.*
1 FC Bayern Munich 31 27 3 1 90:14 +76 84 CL*
2 Borussia Dortmund 31 19 7 5 76:36 +40 64 CL*
3 Bayer 04 Leverkusen 31 16 8 7 59:38 +21 56 CL*
4 FC Schalke 04 31 14 7 10 54:47 +7 49 CL* Qual.
5 Eintracht Frankfurt 31 13 7 11 43:42 +1 46 EL* Qual.
6 SC Freiburg 31 12 9 10 40:37 +3 45 EL* Qual.
7 Borussia Mönchengladbach 31 11 11 9 38:42 -4 44
8 Hamburger SV 31 13 5 13 37:50 -13 44
9 Hannover 96 31 12 5 14 54:57 -3 41
10 1. FSV Mainz 05 31 10 10 11 36:36 0 40
11 VfL Wolfsburg 31 10 10 11 41:46 -5 40
12 VfB Stuttgart 31 11 6 14 33:50 -17 39
13 1. FC Nuremberg 31 9 11 11 34:42 -8 38
14 SV Werder Bremen 31 8 8 15 45:60 -15 32
15 Fortuna Düsseldorf 31 7 9 15 37:49 -12 30
16 FC Augsburg 31 7 9 15 30:45 -15 30 Play-offs
17 1899 Hoffenheim 31 7 6 18 37:60 -23 27 Relegation
18 Greuther Fürth 31 3 9 19 22:55 -33 18 Relegation

Table thanks to Official Bundesliga Website

Article originally written at Football Fan Cast

Loveys’ 2.Bundesliga-Match-Day 31.

A truncated betting preview from Tom due to outside commitments but here are his selections for MD 31.

Match-Day Odds

Union 8/15 Draw 7/2 Regensburg 6/1
Ingolstadt 2/1 Draw 7/3 Braunschweig 13/8
Sandhausen 14/5 Draw 13/5 Bochum 11/10
Aue 29/20 Draw 12/5 Duisburg 21/10
Frankfurt 6/5 Draw 5/2 Dresden 13/5
Cologne 4/6 Draw 3/1 1860 Munchen 5/1
St.Pauli 23/10 Draw 5/2 Hertha 11/8
Paderborn 13/10 Draw 12/5 Aalen 5/2
Cottbus 10/3 Draw 5/2 Kaiserslautern 21/20

 

Tom’s Selections:

Union to be leading at HT 21/20
Ingolstadt/Braunschweig: Draw 7/3
Sandhausen/Bochum: Over 2.75 goals (AH) 11/10
Duisburg to beat Aue 21/10
Frankfurt to beat Dresden 6/5
1860 Munchen +0.75 AH to beat Cologne 41/40
St.Pauli/Hertha: More goals in the 2nd half 6/5
Paderborn to score more goals in the 2nd half 31/20
Cottbus/Kaiserslautern: HT: Draw 6/5

The Bundesliga Show Episode 98 – The Bundesliga Dominates in Semi-Finals

The Show is on cloud nine after two colossal wins by Bundesliga sides in the Champions League this week, and consequently you get a buoyant host Matt Hermann running the rule over those results and events in the domestic league. beIN SPORT play-by-play maven Phil Schoen (@PhilSchoen) joins the show on the line for a talk about the fallout from those two big midweek fixtures…and why it might not have been the most opportune year to stop calling Bundesliga matches! Then DW Bundesliga writer Jefferson Chase comes by to talk about Match days 30 and 31, the Mario Götze transfer, the coming curtains for Thomas Schaaf and more. Check it.

Loveys’ 2.Bundesliga Betting Preview – Matchday 30

Tom Loveys is back with some more betting selections for the German Second Division. Follow Tom on Twitter here.

2.Bundesliga-Match-Day 30

Aalen 13/8 Draw 12/5 Union 15/8
Bochum 11/8 Draw 5/2 St.Pauli 23/10
Regensburg 21/10 Draw 7/3 Ingolstadt 6/4
1860 Munchen 19/20 Draw 13/5 Frankfurt 7/2
Kaiserslautern 11/20 Draw 7/2 Paderborn 6/1
Hertha 3/10 Draw 5/1 Sandhausen 11/1
Braunschweig 4/7 Draw 10/3 Aue 6/1
Dresden 11/10 Draw 5/2 Cottbus 3/1
Duisburg 13/5 Draw 12/5 FC Koln 6/5

 

The final five games of the 2.Bundesliga season are upon us and following Hertha’s draw against Ingolstadt and Braunschweig’s subsequent win against Sandhausen, the gap between the top two is now just two points.

However a win for Hertha on Sunday against Sandhausen will see an instant return to the top flight after last season’s relegation, bringing the good times back to the Olympic Stadium.

At the bottom, Regensburg and Sandhausen look virtually doomed, whilst Dresden and Bochum both appear to be fighting to stay out of the play-off spot.

Here are our best bets for this Match-Day along with a selection in every game at Evens or above.

Bochum/St.Pauli: 2nd half highest scoring half: 23/20

St.Pauli have proved a profitable selection after 45 minutes and the theme of this week’s betting opportunities is ‘sticking to what has happened before’. Both teams have had 15 out of 29 games where they have scored more in the 2nd half and we’re hopeful of a repeat again.

Hertha to score more goals in the 2nd half: 5/4

Hoping for a promotion party on Sunday and maybe after a nervy start, Hertha will take full control after 45 minutes. Another successful bet in the past and I can see Sandhausen falling apart if Hertha get a couple ahead. 19 of Hertha’s 29 games have seen this bet being successful.

Braunschweig (-1.25) Asian Handicap to beat Aue: 6/5

Braunschweig will be keen to keep up with the pace and capitalise on any slip up from Hertha. Having won 10/14 games at home, they are a force to be reckoned with at Eintracht-Stadion. They should be able to brush past an Aue side who have improved in recent week but are poor away from home.

The best  bets treble pays an 9½ /1 for those looking at bigger prices.

Matchday 30

Aalen to score more goals in the 2nd half v Union

6/4

Bochum/St.Pauli: 2nd half highest scoring half

23/20

Regensburg/Ingolstadt: Draw at HT

11/10

1860 Munchen/Frankfurt: 2-3 Goals in the game

11/10

Kaiserslautern/Paderborn: 2nd half, highest scoring half

23/20

Hertha to score more goals in the 2nd half

5/4

Braunschweig (-1.25) Asian Handicap to beat Aue

6/5

Dresden/Cottbus: 2 goals in the game

5/2

FC Koln to beat Duisburg

6/5

 

Loveys’ 2.Bundesliga Betting Preview – Matchday 29

Tom Loveys is back with some more betting selections for the German Second Division. Follow Tom on Twitter here.

With some great profits delivered last week, having correctly predicted 6/9 results, with a profit of 9.8 points and virtually a 10/1 ‘Best Bets’ treble being landed. Things have taken a massive up-turn as we head towards the final few games of the 2.Bundesliga season.

With Hertha’s emphatic 3-0 success over Braunschweig, they are now 1/7 to lift the title with Braunschweig best-priced at 9/2. Kaiserslautern remain in 3rd with a decisive victory over promotion rivals FC Koln. At the other end of the table, it remains bleak for Regensburg and Sandhausen whilst Bochum fans will be getting increasingly worried now sitting in 16th after a shocking 3-0 home loss to Aue.

Below are the odds for Match-Day 29,

Union 11/10 Draw 5/2 Dresden 3/1
Ingolstadt 4/1 Draw 13/5 Hertha 9/10
Sandhausen 7/2 Draw 5/2 Braunschweig Evens
St.Pauli 17/10 Draw 23/10 1860 Munchen 15/8
Frankfurt 7/6 Draw 5/2 Duisburg 13/5
FC Koln 3/5 Draw 10/3 Aalen 11/2
Cottbus 11/10 Draw 5/2 Bochum 10/3
Paderborn 17/20 Draw 14/5 Regensburg 7/2
Aue 3/1 Draw 7/3 Kaiserslautern 23/20

 

Best Bets:

Union to beat Dresden @ 11/10

Union are another side who seem to produce a different performance each week. A lavish 4-2 home victory against St.Pauli was only followed up with mediocre performances away, losing to Frankfurt and drawing with Paderborn. At home they seem a different proposition; having won 8 of their 14 games played and will fancy their chances against a battling Dresden side who are fighting for their lives in 15th place.

Cottbus to beat Bochum @ 11/10

Cottbus are strong at home and seem to have overcome their recent wobble, still sitting in 7th place. At odds against at home, they look a value bet to beat a poor Bochum side who have lost 4 of their last 6 games, the most recent being a decisive 3-0 home defeat to Aue.

Paderborn to score more goals in the 2nd half @ 16/11

I like the look of these markets, specialising in different opportunities than the usual fare each week. Paderborn have played 14 games at home this season, having scored more goals in the 2nd half in 11 of these. The 16/11 price looks great value as chances will be aplenty against the bottom of the table side.

Below are selections in each of the 9 games this weekend. As ever each prediction is offered at Evens or above.

Union to beat Dresden 11/10
Hertha to score more goals in the 2nd half 29/20
Braunschweig to beat Sandhausen Evens
St.Pauli/1860 Muchen: 2nd half to have more goals 23/20
Frankfurt to beat Duisburg 7/6
FC Koln/Aalen: Under 2.25 goals (Asian Handicap Goals) 7/6
Cottbus to beat Bochum 11/10
Paderborn to score more goals in the 2nd half 16/11
Aue/Kaiserslautern: HT-Draw 11/10

The Bundesliga Show Episode 97 – Bayern wrap up the title in double time

**This podcast was recorded before the midweek Champions League fixtures**

This week on the Bundesliga Show, Jon Hartley is joined by Mark Lovell to talk about the new Bundesliga champions, Bayern Munich. They chat about this incredible season for the record champions and what may be still to come.

Plus there is the lowdown on all the other important points from matchday 28 and a look forward to the big games in matchday 29.

Enjoy the show!

 

Loveys’ 2.Bundesliga Betting Preview – Matchday 28

Tom Loveys is back with some more betting selections for the German Second Division. Follow Tom on Twitter here.

Mouth-watering clashes across the German 2nd Division this weekend and we’re confident after last week’s 5/9 profitable performance that further success can be gained, as we moved into a cumulative profit!

Matchday 28: Best available odds at time of writing (4th April)

Fri Kaiserslautern 27/20 Draw 12/5 FC Koln 5/2
Fri Bochum 21/20 Draw 5/2 Aue 3/1
Fri Aalen 11/8 Draw 12/5 Ingolstadt 12/5
Sat Dresden 8/5 Draw 7/3 St.Pauli 21/10
Sat Regensburg 7/4 Draw 12/5 Frankfurt 9/5
Sun Duisburg 17/20 Draw 14/5 Sandhausen 4/1
Sun Paderborn 17/10 Draw 5/2 Union 19/10
Sun 1860 Munchen 11/10 Draw 12/5 Cottbus 10/3
Mon Hertha 10/11 Draw 13/5 Braunschweig 4/1

The exciting action starts on Friday night with 3rd place Kaiserslautern taking on 4th place FC Koln, Bochum and Aue facing up in a relegation-threatened clash. 5th place 1860 take on 7th place Cottbus on Sunday leaving the clash of the top two, Hertha and Braunschweig for the final game on Monday evening.

Best Bets:

Frankfurt (0) on Asian Handicap to beat Regensburg @ Evens

Despite Frankfurt’s below par away form, they have been able to keep pace in 6th with superb home displays. They will be buoyed by their 3-0 win against Union and if even an element of that performance is seen against Regensburg, then the Even money on the Asian Handicap market (Stake returned if a draw) should be value.

Paderborn to score more goals in the 2nd half @ 17/11

Paderborn are no strangers to finding the net and both teams here regularly feature in games with over 2.5 goals. However out of Paderborn’s 13 home games so far, 9 of them have seen them score more goals between 45-90 minutes than the first half. We’ll take a chance on this against an inconsistent Union side.

Hertha v Braunschweig: More goals in the 2nd half @ 23/20

Top of the table clash, what are we expecting? Tight cagey encounter? Free-flowing attacking football? I tend to favour the former, Hertha always seem to push on in the second half and both sides could easily cancel each-other out in the first 45 minutes.

Here are my best bets, again across a variety of different markets, all of which are Evens or above. Good luck.

FC Koln (0) Asian Handicap v Kaiserslautern 29/20
Bochum v Aue: Over 2.5 goals Evens
Aalen v Ingolstadt: Half Time: Draw 11/10
Dresden to score first v St.Pauli Evens
Frankfurt (0) Asian Handicap v Regensburg Evens
Duisburg D/H in the HT/FT market 4/1
Paderborn to score more goals in the 2nd half v Union 17/11
1860 Munchen to be leading Cottbus at HT 9/5
Hertha v Braunschweig: More goals in the 2nd half 23/20

The Bundesliga Show Episode 96 – Almost for Bayern & Bye Bye Marco Kurz

This week on The Bundesliga Show, Terry Duffelen makes a return at the helm of the podcast alongside Jon Hartley. The pair take a look at Matchday 26, where Bayern couldn’t quite wrap up the title despite their 9-2 win over Hamburg.

All that, plus plenty more chat about the Marco Kurz’ departure from Hoffenheim, the Champions League and the 2.Bundesliga.

Enjoy the show!

The Bundesliga Show – Bayern Munich v Juventus Special

The Bundesliga Show’s Matt Hermann meets up with Italian football expert to get the lowdown on Bayern’s Champions League opponents Juventus.

Bundesliga Review – Same old Bayern, taking the Piz by Archie Rhind-Tutt

Dinosaurs may now be extinct but when they did roam the planet they were said to be fearsome creatures. Now, by definition of the fact Hamburg have been in the Bundesliga for all 50 seasons, they are renowned for being the division’s dinosaur. Sadly for Thorsten Fink, they were more like Barney the Dinosaur at a time when they could least afford it; because any team who puts in a weak performance against this Bayern Munich side risks a thrashing.

The Bundesliga record champions displayed on Saturday why they’re on course to become the greatest team in the competition’s 50 year history. After a series of poor performances by the high standards they’ve set themselves this season, Bayern responded by annihilating Hamburg. The away side have had eyes on a Champions League place of late but their 9-2 thrashing at the league leaders should end those dreams.

Four of those goals came from third choice front man Claudio Pizarro. He has been something of a “Cash and Carry” striker this season as when he’s scored, he’s done so in bulk. The Peruvian played a part in six goals on Saturday, a Bundesliga record for a single game and he also moved into the list of the top ten Bundesliga scorers of all time. His performance alone showed how this season even players who warm the bench at Bayern do not disappoint when they’re let loose in the red shirt.

Pizarro’s return to Bavaria in the summer seemed strange though. He was never going to be the first choice striker, yet he had been one of the top scorers in the division last season, netting 18 for Werder Bremen. His quadruple on Saturday makes it harder to pick holes in his logic of moving back to Bayern. Whilst he could have played regularly for another club in the Bundesliga, it takes a very strong character to turn down Bayern Munich. When you’re averaging a goal every 72 minutes or so, as Pizarro has done this season, it’s unlikely he’ll have any regrets, especially after Saturday evening.

Both the Peruvian and die Roten were majestic, in contrast to visitors Hamburg who equalled their worst ever defeat in the Bundesliga, 49 years after they were beaten by the same scoreline at Bayern’s neighbours, 1860 Munich. Saturday’s apocalyptic performance also came 49 days after Hamburg thrashed Borussia Dortmund 4-1 at Signal Iduna Park. After Bayern’s nine though, you have to question whether a 4-1 score line even qualifies as a thrashing.

If it had a been a bout, the blue corner would have thrown in the towel at half time, though Thorsten Fink’s side effectively did, conceding another four after the league leaders had planted five past them in the first half. Still, there were a few positives for HSV. At least they scored (not many have done so against this Bayern side), at least their opponents didn’t get into double figures and at least Hamburg won’t have to travel to the Allianz Arena until August at the very earliest – in their last three visits, they’ve conceded 20.

As for Bayern, they will bounce into their Champions League quarter final with Juventus on Tuesday. The team that started on Saturday was lacking a few first choice members such as Alaba, Ribery and Mandzukic but they comprehensively outplayed a team challenging for a European place in the Bundesliga. A win next week at Eintracht Frankfurt will seal their 23rd Bundesliga title and never has it been more deserved for Bayern Munich.

Elsewhere in the Bundesliga:

  • Despite being constantly linked to Bayern Munich, Robert Lewandowski ensured his potential employers would have to wait until next week to seal the title. He scored the winner as Borussia Dortmund overcame Stuttgart. The side behind BVB, Bayer Leverkusen, were much more comfortable in Düsseldorf, as they swept past Fortuna thanks to two from Stefan Kiessling and two from André Schürrle.
  • Speaking of doubles, Max Kruse also netted a pair against Borussia Mönchengladbach ensuring Freiburg kept in the hunt for a Champions League place. And wouldn’t you just know it, he’s been linked with a move recently to… Borussia Mönchengladbach! Another fine pair could be found in Augsburg as Konstantin Rausch got both goals in a rare away triumph for Hannover.
  • However, it is Schalke who now lead the race for that final Champions League place after a 12 minute treble salvo saw them past lowly Hoffenheim. Level on points with the Royal Blues though are Eintracht Frankfurt. The Eagles won their first game in six and more poignantly, since Armin Veh signed a new contract during the week. They snuck past Greuther Fürth in an entertaining encounter on Sunday afternoon.
  • Mainz scored the quickest goal in their history when Adam Szalai scored after 12 seconds. Coincidentally, it was the fastest goal Werder Bremen have ever conceded too but Thomas Schaaf’s side recovered to grab a share of the points. As fate would have it, Sokratis and Marko Arnautovic, fresh from scuffling on the training ground, combined well to set up Aaron Hunt for the equaliser.
  • And finally, in what should have been labelled as the Dieter Hecking derby, Wolfsburg and Nürnberg played out a draw on Sunday. Hecking’s current side took a two goal lead before generously letting it slip as his former charges fought back to secure a draw. It included what can only be described as a “Thundercracker” from Belgian defender Timmy Simons.

Matchday 27 Results:

Augsburg 0-2 Hannover

Fortuna Düsseldorf 1-4 Bayer Leverkusen

Freiburg 2-0 Gladbach

Mainz 1-1 Werder Bremen

Schalke 3-0 Hoffenheim

Stuttgart 1-2 Borussia Dortmund

Bayern Munich 9-2 Hamburg

Wolfsburg 2-2 Nürnberg

Greuther Fürth 2-3 Eintracht Frankfurt

Table

Rank Club Matches W* D* L* G* GD* Pts.*
1 FC Bayern Munich 27 23 3 1 78:13 +65 72 CL*
2 Borussia Dortmund 27 15 7 5 62:32 +30 52 CL*
3 Bayer 04 Leverkusen 27 14 6 7 50:35 +15 48 CL*
4 FC Schalke 04 27 12 6 9 46:43 +3 42 CL* Qual.
5 Eintracht Frankfurt 27 12 6 9 42:39 +3 42 EL* Qual.
6 1. FSV Mainz 05 27 10 9 8 34:30 +4 39 EL* Qual.
7 SC Freiburg 27 10 9 8 35:33 +2 39
8 Borussia Mönchengladbach 27 9 11 7 35:37 -2 38
9 Hamburger SV 27 11 5 11 32:43 -11 38
10 Hannover 96 27 11 4 12 49:46 +3 37
11 1. FC Nuremberg 27 8 11 8 31:34 -3 35
12 VfL Wolfsburg 27 8 8 11 32:42 -10 32
13 VfB Stuttgart 27 9 5 13 29:46 -17 32
14 SV Werder Bremen 27 8 7 12 43:52 -9 31
15 Fortuna Düsseldorf 27 7 8 12 33:40 -7 29
16 FC Augsburg 27 5 9 13 23:40 -17 24 Play-offs
17 1899 Hoffenheim 27 5 5 17 30:52 -22 20 Relegation
18 Greuther Fürth 27 2 9 16 18:45 -27 15 Relegation

Table thanks to official Bundesliga website

Originally written at Football Fan Cast