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


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

Loveys’ 2.Bundesliga Betting Preview – Matchday 27

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

Below are the fixtures ahead of MatchDay 27 in the 2.Bundesliga with Coral Odds.

Aue 23/10 Draw 23/10 1860 Munchen 16/11
Cottbus 12/11 Draw 12/5 Aalen 16/5
Braunschweig 5/7 Draw 45/16 Dresden 9/2
Hertha 6/13 Draw 15/4 Bochum 7/1
Ingolstadt 17/12 Draw 23/10 Duisburg 9/4
FC Koln 4/11 Draw 9/2 Regensburg 68/7
Frankfurt 7/4 Draw 32/13 Union 7/4
Sandhausen 58/15 Draw 31/12 Kaiserslautern 20/21
St.Pauli 21/20 Draw 52/21 Paderborn 49/16

Matchday 27 in the 2.Bundesliga commences this Thursday night and sees another set of intriguing clashes. Braunschweig can regain top spot with a win over lowly Dresden, although Hertha can regain this honour within 48 hours when they entertain Bochum on Saturday lunch-time.

At the other end of the table, Regensburg’s cause isn’t helped by a trip to the in-form FC Koln. Sandhausen will be desperate to get something from Kaiserslautern and Dresden and Bochum, as previously mentioned, have tough away challenges.

With some slightly improved performances over the last few weeks, it’s time to try and turn in some decent profits this week to get us cumulatively ahead.

As always there are three ‘Best Bets’ and a selection for every one of the 9 games from Thursday through to next Monday. Good luck!

Hertha: D/W on the HT/FT Market @ 17/5

I’m boldly putting up a bigger priced selection in the hope of decent profits. Hertha are big favourites to win the game but offer little appeal at the prices outright. Generally games at the Olympic Stadium have been slow to start with the home side drawing 7 games after 45. This is exactly the same number of games they have won in the second half, so at the prices we’re hopeful of a decent chance here.

Ingolstadt v Duisburg: Draw at HT: @ 11/10

Both sides are specialists in this market, Ingolstadt have had 6 previous HT draws at home, whilst Duisburg have gained the same number away from home. A tight encounter is expected with maybe little goals. I don’t see much between the two sides, especially after the first 45 minutes.

Frankfurt (-0.25) Asian Handicap to beat Union @ 5/4

Frankfurt have been kind to us in previous weeks and have a strong home record with 7 wins from 13 games. Union have been on a much-improved run, but occasionally throw in a poor performance highlighting inconsistencies. It should be a tight game with only a point separating the teams. With the security of half our stake returned should the match end in a draw, the (-0.25) on our new found market, the Asian Handicap provides some interest.

Here are the rest of the selections in Matchday 27. As always a variety of specialists markets feature as I look to find an opportunity at Evens or better.

1860 Munchen to beat Aue 16/11
Cottbus v Aalen: Draw at HT 11/10
Braunschweig (-1) Asian Handicap 6/5
Hertha D/W on HT/FT Market 17/5
Ingolstadt v Duisburg to Draw at HT 11/10
FC Koln to win to Nil 5/4
Frankfurt (-0.25) Asian Handicap 5/4
Sandhausen/Kaiserslautern: Both teams to score 21/20
St.Pauli/Paderborn: More goals in the 2nd half 6/5

Good luck with any bets and enjoy the action.


The Bundesliga Show Episode 95 – Schalke’s Managerial Blues

With no fresh match day to mull over on this week’s Bundesliga Show, Matt Hermann sets the pod’s sights on doings beyond the Bundesliga’s borders. The Yellow Wall podcast’s Matthias Suuck tells us how he spent the international break in a blizzard and talks Borussia Dortmund’s prospects in the Champions League against Malaga. European football expert Andy Brassell, meanwhile, fills us in on what the dang deal with Malaga is over a coffee. Then Matt and Matthias get pumped for match day 27.
Dig in!

The Bundesliga Show Episode 94 – Nuri Sahin Strikes Back

On the Bundesliga Show this week, Jon Hartley and Matt Hermann reflect on the action from Matchday 26. The pair discuss the rousing return of Nuri Sahin to scoring ways, Bayern’s step closer to the title and the prospects for the teams vying for 4th place.

All that, plus Terry’s Duffelen’s weekly report on the 2.Bundesliga.

Enjoy the show!

Loveys’ Bundesliga 2 Betting Preview – Matchday 26

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

Below are the fixtures ahead of MatchDay 26 in the 2.Bundesliga with Coral Odds.

Fri Duisburg 11/8 Draw 9/4 Cottbus 9/5
Fri Union Berlin 11/10 Draw 12/5 St.Pauli 11/5
Fri Paderborn 5/4 Draw 23/10 Frankfurt 2/1
Sat Bochum 21/10 Draw 12/5 Braunschweig 23/20
Sat 1860 Munchen 11/5 Draw 12/5 Hertha 11/10
Sun Kaiserslautern 4/7 Draw 11/4 Ingolstadt 9/2
Sun Aalen 5/6 Draw 5/2 Sandhausen 3/1
Sun Regensburg 6/4 Draw 9/4 Aue 13/8
Mon Dresden 12/5 Draw 12/5 FC Koln Evens

In MatchDay 25, Hertha surged 4 points clear at the top of the table with a 4-2 home victory against Duisburg. Braunschweig were reliant on a late Domi Kumbela equaliser to earn a point at home to Kaiserslautern. FC Koeln continue to surge upwards with a comfortable 3-0 victory against Paderborn and Cottbus delivered another win, 2-1 at home to Union.

St.Pauli produced another dramatic 90th minute winner against Regensburg and FSV Frankfurt demolished Aalen 6-1

1860 Munchen v Hertha is probably the pick of the matches this week, however Union v St.Pauli looks interesting and Monday’s night’s clash between Dresden and Fc Koeln will have implications at either end of the table.

Best Bets:

Paderborn/FSV Frankfurt: Over 2.5 Goals: 11/10:

Both these teams play with attack on their minds. 50% of Paderborn’s home games and 66.7% of Frankfurt’s away games have gone over 2.5 goals and the 11/10 on offer for this makes some appeal, especially off the back of Frankfurt’s 6-1 thrashing of Aalen.

Braunschweig (-0.25-Asian Handicap): 41/40

I’m tempted not to touch Braunschweig again after being let down by them twice in two weeks, however on Saturday they travel to 15th place Bochum, who have a home record of W3-D4-L5 from their 12 games. Braunschweig battled back to gain a point against Kaiserslautern on Monday and whilst recent form is extremely poor, you don’t become a bad side overnight and they’ll be keen to get back to winning ways.

The Asian Handicap is a new venture for me, and the above bet gives us the security net of half of our stake back should the game end in a Draw. Bochum haven’t won in the last 4 games and Braunschweig should really have the quality……otherwise I won’t be including them again!

1860 Munchen v Hertha: Hertha to score more goals in the 2nd half: 16/11

An attractive looking clash with both teams in good form. I’d imagine this game to be quite tight and cagey early on and I was tempted with a Draw or even 0-0 at Half Time. However, looking at the stats and a ‘different market’, it’s interesting to note that Hertha have scored 28 goals away from home, 20 of these being in the second half. The 16/11 price on offer would appear to be great value around the league leaders who seem to ‘kick into gear’ from 45 minutes.

As always, I’ve attempted to find a ‘bet’ in each of the nine 2.Bundesliga games which offer Evens or above. We went 5/9 last week and hope to improve on that further.

All the selections for Matchday 26:

Duisburg/Cottbus: Draw at HT 11/10
Union to beat St.Pauli 11/10
Paderborn/Frankfurt: Over 2.5 Goals 11/10
Braunschweig (-0.25) Asian Handicap 41/40
Hertha to score more goals in the 2nd half 16/11
Kaiserslautern/Ingolstadt: Draw 11/4
Aalen (-1) Asian Handicap 6/4
Regensburg to score 1st vs Aue Evens
FC Koeln to keep a Clean Sheet 7/4

Thanks, as ever for reading, enjoy all the games and good luck with any bets. Comments and your own selections are welcomed.


The Bundesliga Show Episode 93 – Derby Joy & Champions League Disappointment

Matt Hermann and Jon Hartley are back to run the rule over matchday 25 from the Bundesliga. There was derby joy and Champions League disappointment for Schalke, while at the bottom of the table Hoffenheim made ground on Augsburg.

All that, plus Terry Duffelen‘s review of the 2.Bundesliga.

Enjoy the show!

Bundesliga Review – Buoyant Bayern all set for Arsenal by Archie Rhind-Tutt

Arsène Wenger may claim his side have a chance of qualifying for the Champions League quarter finals. The truth is, they don’t. The Gunners first leg against Bayern Munich proved just how much stronger the Bavarians are. And even if the Bundesliga leaders may have stuttered ever so slightly at the weekend, Bayern still look the strongest side in Europe.

Now for this season’s Bayern, a stutter qualifies as a win – just not in the swashbuckling style that we have come to expect of the champions-elect. Their opponents on Saturday could count themselves unfortunate too. In the last two seasons, scoring twice against Bayern usually guarantees victory. So, poor old Fortuna Düsseldorf, who became the first away team to score two and not win a Bundesliga game at the Allianz Arena since Freiburg in October 2010. They can take solace in the fact they played a side on course to become the greatest team in Bundesliga history.

Coach Jupp Heynckes didn’t put out much of a weakened team on Saturday either. Even when you include injuries, Heynckes played a side which was just three players off what has become the acknowledged full strength team for Bayern this season – those missing being Holger Badstuber, Javi Martinez and perhaps the signing of the season, Dante.

Saturday was the first Bundesliga game the Brazilian centre back has not started this season as he was rested for Wednesday’s game against Arsenal. That there was a certain fragility to the Bayern defence against Fortuna  was testament to the impact Dante has had since signing from Borussia Mönchengladbach in the summer.

Twice Fortuna Düsseldorf took the lead (sparking wild, yet understandable celebrations in the away end of the stadium ) and, when they did so for a second time through Andreas Lambertz’s strike, just 18 minutes remained in the game. Still, it was naïve to think there wasn’t enough time for Bayern to turn round the deficit. Within minutes Franck Ribery had equalised and with just a few to spare, Jerome Boateng made sure that the team’s dinner was on Jupp Heynckes by nodding in his first ever Bundesliga goal.

More importantly, it was the winner, taking Bayern 20 points clear at the top of the division. Forget the title race (if you haven’t already) because Bayern Munich are now up against history – and they’re even on course to thrash that too. Jupp Heynckes’s team have five more points than any other side has had at this stage of a Bundesliga season.

Win their next three games and they’ll clinch their first league title since 2010 at Eintracht Frankfurt on April 6th. Yet, perhaps the sweetest domestic prospect for Bayern lies in early May. Because, should they take 16 points from their next six games, they will go to Borussia Dortmund, not just as Champions but having broken the record points total set just last season by BVB. And if they could even win at Signal Iduna Park, having already surpassed 81 points, it would further legitimise their status as Deutscher Meister once more.

They may have looked weaker defensively without Dante at the weekend but, that aside, the quality in Bayern’s squad has been shown to be so interchangeable, that it will be surprising if Jupp Heynckes’s side do anything but breeze through to the quarter finals of the Champions League on Wednesday evening.

Elsewhere in the Bundesliga:

  • Whilst Jupp Heynckes got away with leaving out his summer signing from Gladbach, Jürgen Klopp wasn’t so fortunate. Marco Reus was on the bench for the Revierderby as Schalke raced into a first half lead thanks to goals from Julian Draxler and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. The emergence of Reus in the second half wasn’t enough to spark a revival as Schalke held on for their second derby win of the season, despite Robert Lewandowski’s goal just before the hour.
  • However, there was concerning injury news for both Dortmund and Schalke after the game. Mats Hummels tore an ankle ligament which will put him out for four weeks whilst Klaas-Jan Huntelaar will miss Tuesday’s Champions League game with Galatasaray. He’s out for eight weeks having torn a ligament in his knee after an innocuous collision with his own goalkeeper, Timo Hildebrand.
  • That result for Schalke pushed them back into the top four for the first time since the beginning of December. But, there are quite a few sides behind them. Take Mainz who won for the first time in 2013 by overcoming Bayer Leverkusen. Eintracht Frankfurt are level on points with Schalke but their run of games without scoring was extended to five in their goalless draw at Hannover.
  • Goals were not a problem for Wolfsburg though as they scored five in a surprise victory at Freiburg which included a pair of superb strikes. First came Vieirinha’s thumping volley from 25 yards before Ivica Olic tried to top that with an overhead kick. Alternatively there was a powerful volley by Hamburg’s Artjoms Rudnevs on Sunday. That earned his side the win against Stuttgart, putting HSV within two points of fourth place. Their local rivals, Werder Bremen, had to settle for a draw at Borussia Mönchengladbach.
  • And, in the scrap to avoid relegation, Augsburg’s recent good form came to an end as they were beaten by Nuremberg -that allowed Hoffenheim to gain some ground on the Bavarians as they overcame bottom club Greuther Fürth.

Matchday 25 Results:

Augsburg 1-2 Nuremberg

Bayern Munich 3-2 Fortuna Düsseldorf

Freiburg 2-5 Wolfsburg

Greuther Fürth 0-3 Hoffenheim

Mainz 1-0 Bayer Leverkusen

Schalke 2-1 Borussia Dortmund

Gladbach 1-1 Werder Bremen

Hannover 0-0 Eintracht Frankfurt

Stuttgart 0-1 Hamburg


Rank Club Matches W* D* L* G* GD* Pts.*
1 FC Bayern Munich 25 21 3 1 67:10 +57 66 CL*
2 Borussia Dortmund 25 13 7 5 55:30 +25 46 CL*
3 Bayer 04 Leverkusen 25 13 6 6 45:32 +13 45 CL*
4 FC Schalke 04 25 11 6 8 43:40 +3 39 CL* Qual.
5 Eintracht Frankfurt 25 11 6 8 38:35 +3 39 EL* Qual.
6 Hamburger SV 25 11 5 9 30:33 -3 38 EL* Qual.
7 1. FSV Mainz 05 25 10 7 8 33:29 +4 37
8 SC Freiburg 25 9 9 7 32:28 +4 36
9 Borussia Mönchengladbach 25 8 11 6 34:35 -1 35
10 Hannover 96 25 10 4 11 47:45 +2 34
11 1. FC Nuremberg 25 7 10 8 26:32 -6 31
12 VfL Wolfsburg 25 8 6 11 29:39 -10 30
13 SV Werder Bremen 25 8 5 12 40:49 -9 29
14 VfB Stuttgart 25 8 5 12 26:43 -17 29
15 Fortuna Düsseldorf 25 7 7 11 31:35 -4 28
16 FC Augsburg 25 4 9 12 22:38 -16 21 Play-offs
17 1899 Hoffenheim 25 5 4 16 30:49 -19 19 Relegation
18 Greuther Fürth 25 2 8 15 14:40 -26 14 Relegation

Table thanks to official Bundesliga website

Article originally written at Football Fan Cast

The Bundesliga Show Episode 92 – Dortmund in Dreamland

This week on The Bundesliga Show, Jon Hartley and Matt Hermann are joined by journalist Mark Lovell.

The pod crew get to grips with Dortmund’s win over Shahktar, the Bundesliga matchday 24 action…and a nod to the promotion race in the 2.Bundesliga.

Enjoy the show!

Loveys’ Bundesliga 2 Betting Preview – Matchday 25

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

Here are the fixtures for Match Day 25 in the 2.Bundesliga. Probably the stand-out tie will be on Monday night where second place Braunschweig entertain third place Kaiserslautern. A review of match-day 24 is here.


St.Pauli 8/13 Draw 29/10 Regensburg 9/2
Frankfurt 7/5 Draw 23/10 Aalen 21/10
Sandhausen 12/5 Draw 12/5 1860 Munchen 13/10
Cottbus 13/10 Draw 12/5 Union Berlin 12/5
FC Koln 13/20 Draw 29/10 Paderborn 9/2
Ingolstadt 23/20 Draw 12/5 Bochum 13/5
Aue 5/4 Draw 12/5 Dresden 12/5
Hertha 4/11 Draw 4/1 Duisburg 9/1
Braunschweig 13/10 Draw 23/10 Kaiserslautern 9/4


Best Bets:

Braunschweig to beat Kaiserslautern @ 13/10

Despite letting us down last week, we’re taking a chance with the early pace-setters. Admittedly recent form hasn’t been good, but arguably their opponents, Kaiserslautern are in just as poor form, having only drawn against Bochum and Duisburg and losing in a one-sided affair to Hertha. 13/10 is good value for the home team who have the strongest record on their own soil with 9 wins from the 12 games played at the Eintracht-Stadion.

Hertha (-1) to beat Duisburg @ 11/10

It’s not often I’ll put up my own team as a ‘Best Bet’, so maybe a little heart is being used here as well as my head! After putting in a disappointing effort against Dresden last week, the current league leaders will be desperate to forget last Saturday and show the Berlin public what they can really do. Odds of 4/11 for the outright 90 minute win are extremely prohibitive at the Olympic Stadium, so we’ll be hoping for at least two goals with no reply and a convincing win to get back on track with a selection on the handicap market.

Dresden (DNB) to beat Aue @ 11/8

Having watched Dresden last week, there seems a renewed fighting spirit which has seen them gain 2 wins, 2 draws and a solitary loss in their last 5 games. If they can put in anything similar to the performance which toppled Hertha last week, then the 11/8 with the ‘Draw No Bet’ security blanket could be terrific value against an Aue side which appear to be spiralling into trouble after losing 4 of their last 5 games. This is the big relegation clash of the weekend with both teams locked on 24 points each.

Following a profitable last Match-Day with 5/9 results correctly predicted, again we’ll be looking for a selection in every game, specifically looking at a variety of markets in order to offer a bet which is ’Evens or Above’


St.Pauli/Regensburg: 2nd half to have most goals 11/10
Frankfurt to beat Aalen 7/5
1860 Munchen to beat Sandhausen 13/10
Cottbus/Union: Both teams to score in the 2nd half 5/2
Paderborn (DNB) to beat FC Koln 19/5
Ingolstadt v Bochum: Draw at HT 23/20
Dresden (DNB) to beat Aue 11/8
Hertha (-1) to beat Duisburg 11/10
Braunschweig to beat Kaiserslautern 13/10


Some bigger prices selected this week, particularly the near 4/1 for a Paderborn away victory in Koln with ‘no bet’ should the game be a draw.

Thanks for reading, enjoy the games. As always comments and your own selections are welcomed.


Bundesliga Review – The Augsburg escape is on once more by Archie Rhind-Tutt

Barack Obama’s famous 2008 election slogan “Yes We Can” was meant to inspire. Yet did the President realise it would influence one Augsburg fan’s choice of lettering on their replica shirt. The words “Jos We Can” are adorned on the back of one supporter’s top in honour of now former coach Jos Luhukay.

Alas, as this particular fan trudged away into the night after a 3-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen earlier this season, he might have had his doubts about whether Augsburg could compete in their second year in the Bundesliga without the man who’d made the club’s dreams come true.

Not only did Luhukay take Augsburg into the Bundesliga for the first time; the Dutchman kept the club in the division too, on what was the smallest budget in the Bundesliga. This was all the more remarkable given the fact the club were in the relegation zone at Christmas. An improbable run in the Rückrunde,  combined with the downfall of Cologne and Hertha Berlin, saw Augsburg survive. Jos Luhukay was seen as the mastermind of this triumph but at the end of the season, feeling he could take the team no further, he left for relegated Hertha Berlin.

If Augsburg thought it had been difficult surviving with Luhukay, they’d now have to do it without their hero. In stepped Markus Weinzierl, a relatively unknown coach in Germany but nevertheless fresh from getting SSV Jahn Regensburg promoted to the second division.

And for a second season running, the first half of a Bundesliga season proved tricky for Augsburg. Weinzierl’s squad was not too different to Luhukay’s. Still, the newcomer was failing to produce the same results with injuries to key players such as skipper Paul Verhaegh not helping his cause. Just nine points were gained in the Hinrunde including a solitary win against Werder Bremen.

But crucially, things looked to have changed for the better at half way for a second consecutive year. In fact, after Saturday’s victory at Werder Bremen, Augsburg would be fourth, based solely on their performance in the second half of the season. And whilst every win for Augsburg could be described as significant, success at Werder really was a fillip for the Bavarians. Tobias Werner, who scored in the reverse fixture earlier this season, was the hero for Augsburg, heading in the game’s only goal just before the half hour mark.

Even more remarkably, Augsburg played out the remaining hour without conceding thanks to a mixture of astute defending, toothless finishing from Werder and goalkeeping heroics from Mohammed Amsif. This performance though formed just another part of the spring recovery by Augsburg.

And like their win on Saturday, this recovery has come about for a couple of reasons. Since the winter break, Markus Weinzierl has played a 4-1-4-1 formation in all but one game, which interestingly enough brought about their only loss in 2013 so far (against Bayer Leverkusen). By chance, that man Jos Luhukay had some success using the formation in the second half of last season too.

On a technical note though, as Cristian Nyari said in January: “The formation adds greater variety to Augsburg’s attacks and puts them in a better position to play a proactive game as opposed to reacting to opponents” – something that cannot be underestimated, considering only Greuther Fürth had scored less goals than Augsburg at Christmas.

Add to this the appointment of Stefan Reuter as Sporting Director in December; which has been followed by a few shrewd signings in January such as forward Ji Dong-Won on a loan deal from Sunderland and American defender Michael Parkhurst from Danish Champions Nordsjaelland and you have the crux of Augsburg’s ascent in 2013.

The club are still some way from complete safety with the Bavarians currently occupying the relegation/promotion playoff spot. Were Augsburg to survive, it would be arguably be an even bigger achievement for the club than last season and indeed a great endorsement for the coaching ability of Markus Weinzierl.

This weekend’s win over Werder Bremen meant Weinzierl did something Luhukay never did in winning back-to-back Bundesliga games. With Nuremberg visiting the SGL-Arena on Friday night, you wouldn’t bet against Augsburg extending that run either.

But the question is, even without Jos Luhukay as coach, can Augsburg achieve survival?

Well, Jos they can.

Elsewhere in the Bundesliga:

  • Staying with the battle for survival, bottom club Greuther Fürth gained another unlikely point, this time at Hamburg on Saturday. It means they’re undefeated in the two games they’ve had without sacked coach Mike Büskens. One of Büskens former clubs, Schalke look to have regained some form of late, with Julian Draxler particularly influential in their thrashing of Wolfsburg at the weekend.
  • Now, for those who like a good bit of word play, this weekend was momentous in the Bundesliga. Bas Dost faced Bastos for the first time in German football – the winner being Bastos with Schalke beating the Wolves. But there was more on Sunday when Hoffenheim’s game against Bayern saw Gomes take on Gomez. And as destiny would have it, they came face-to-face for the defining moment of the match as Gomez of the Mario variety slipped it past Heurelho to seal a surprisingly slender win for the league leaders. And as is dictated now when Mario Gomez scores a goal, you just have to push the button
  • But enough frivolity and back to the weekend’s action where Borussia Dortmund prepared for their Champions League game with a relatively comfortable win over Hannover. The team just behind BVB, Bayer Leverkusen, recorded an impressive victory against Stuttgart, scoring twice in the last eight minutes to overturn a one goal deficit.
  • And in the race for that final Champions League spot, Gladbach shocked 4th placed Eintracht on Friday night, Freiburg recovered to draw at Nuremberg whilst former Bolton striker Ivan Klasnic netted the equaliser as Mainz were held at Fortuna Düsseldorf.

Matchday 24 Results

Eintracht Frankfurt 0-1 Gladbach

Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Hannover

Hamburg 1-1 Fürth

Nuremberg 1-1 Freiburg

Werder Bremen 0-1 Augsburg

Wolfsburg 1-4 Schalke

Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Stuttgart

Hoffenheim 0-1 Bayern Munich

Fortuna Düsseldorf 1-1 Mainz


Rank Club Matches W* D* L* G* GD* Pts.*
1 FC Bayern Munich 24 20 3 1 64:8 +56 63 CL*
2 Borussia Dortmund 24 13 7 4 54:28 +26 46 CL*
3 Bayer 04 Leverkusen 24 13 6 5 45:31 +14 45 CL*
4 Eintracht Frankfurt 24 11 5 8 38:35 +3 38 CL* Qual.
5 SC Freiburg 24 9 9 6 30:23 +7 36 EL* Qual.
6 FC Schalke 04 24 10 6 8 41:39 +2 36 EL* Qual.
7 Hamburger SV 24 10 5 9 29:33 -4 35
8 1. FSV Mainz 05 24 9 7 8 32:29 +3 34
9 Borussia Mönchengladbach 24 8 10 6 33:34 -1 34
10 Hannover 96 24 10 3 11 47:45 +2 33
11 VfB Stuttgart 24 8 5 11 26:42 -16 29
12 Fortuna Düsseldorf 24 7 7 10 29:32 -3 28
13 1. FC Nuremberg 24 6 10 8 24:31 -7 28
14 SV Werder Bremen 24 8 4 12 39:48 -9 28
15 VfL Wolfsburg 24 7 6 11 24:37 -13 27
16 FC Augsburg 24 4 9 11 21:36 -15 21 Play-offs
17 1899 Hoffenheim 24 4 4 16 27:49 -22 16 Relegation
18 Greuther Fürth 24 2 8 14 14:37 -23 14 Relegation

Table thanks to official Bundesliga website

Article originally published on Football Fan Cast