Bundesliga Tips – War of the Rose to be won by BVB

Bundesliga Tips – War of the Rose to be won by BVB

Chastened Dortmund can bounce back

Borussia Dortmund v Borussia Mönchengladbach
Sunday 20 February, 16:30
Live on Sky Sports and Betfair Live Video

The last couple of weeks have summed up how maddening it must be to support Borussia Dortmund. They were torn to shreds in a 5-2 thrashing at home by third-placed Bayer Leverkusen, giving away some horrendous goals and generally looking wide open in midfield. They then looked far more stable and impressive in a 3-0 win at Union Berlin, as Marco Reus’s double saw them pick up a rare clean sheet and an important three points.

Just when it seemed BVB had taken a step in the right direction, they then took a huge one backwards as they were beaten 4-2 at home by Rangers in the Europa League, a tournament that many people believe Dortmund could win. Dan-Axel Zagadou gave away a clumsy penalty for handball, the team switched off completely for the second, former Freiburg loan player Ryan Kent dazzled the defence to set up the third, and then Borussia defended shambolically as the hapless Zagadou scored an own goal.

Given that Dortmund limply exited the DFB Cup against second-tier St. Pauli just a few weeks ago, the glare of the spotlight is burning brightly on coach Marco Rose, and failure to turn things around at Ibrox will ramp up the pressure. Players like Erling Haaland and Jude Bellingham have been clearly discomfited by some of the misadventures of their team-mates, and if Dortmund can’t show they can compete for trophies, that might start to affect their ability to attract top talent.

Haaland missed Thursday’s debacle, but he could play some part against Rose’s old club Borussia Mönchengladbach, who are in worse shape than his new side. The Foals picked up a much-needed win over Augsburg last weekend, easing their relegation fears, but there are still fires to fight. Defensively, Gladbach have great individuals, but as a unit they are a mess. The Foals have leaked 40 league goals, which gives them one of the worst defensive records in the division.

On the road, Gladbach have won just five of their last 25 games in the league, and their record at Signal Iduna Park is even worse. They have suffered seven straight league defeats at Dortmund, and although it’s tough to entirely trust the hosts given how badly they have defended of late, I’ll tip them to return to winning ways here. They have won 13 of their last 15 home matches in the league, with games against Bayern and Leverkusen the only exceptions. I’ll back them -1.0 on the Asian Handicap here at 2.021/1. If they win by multiple goals, we get a payout at just above evens.

Buoyant Bochum can strike twice

Stuttgart v Bochum
Saturday 19 February, 14:30
Live on Betfair Live Video

A win against mighty Bayern Munich always means a lot, but last weekend’s stunning 4-2 success against the record champions has to be one of the greatest results in Ruhr club Bochum’s history. Christian Gamboa and Gerrit Holtmann both scored breathtaking goals in a first half that ended with Bochum 4-1 up. Although Robert Lewandowski pulled a goal back, Thomas Reis’ men saw out the victory, and they are now a healthy six points clear of the bottom three.

A win at second-bottom Stuttgart would put Bochum 13 points clear of the automatic dropzone, so it’s worth going for the win against a side bereft of confidence and rhythm. Stuttgart have won just four league games all season, and they have leaked 40 goals in 22 top-flight matches. They have conceded at least two goals in their last four games, and they have let in two goals or more in six of their last ten league matches at the Mercedes Benz Arena. To make matters worse, their best defender Marc-Oliver Kempf left in the winter window to join Hertha Berlin.

I’ll simply back Bochum to score twice here at a hefty 2.757/4, something they have done in three of their last five competitive matches.

Visitors’ slide to continue

Augsburg v Freiburg
Saturday 19 February, 14:30
Live on Betfair Live Video

What goes up often must come down, and Freiburg are feeling the effects of football gravity. They have been outstanding for so much of the campaign, but a run of three wins in 12 has probably wiped away any hopes of them pushing for Champions League football. To give coach Christian Streich his due, he has played down his team’s chances of a top-four finish throughout, and any kind of European qualification would be a phenomenal success.

Augsburg need the points for totally different reasons, as they find themselves in the bottom three with 12 matchdays left. However, they have played well in recent games, and there is no sense of panic in a squad that’s used to fighting the drop. They have only lost one of their last eight home matches, and the signing of American teenage sensation Ricardo Pepi has added to the competition for places in attack.

Augsburg have scored at least twice in four of their last six home games, while Freiburg have managed just three clean sheets in their last 12 league games. I think Augsburg are temptingly priced to score at least two goals at 2.757/4 on the Sportsbook, with Michael Gregoritsch (five goals in ten games) in strong form, with Pepi as a wild-card option.