Bundesliga Picks: Matchweek 24
BUNDESLIGA PICKS: MATCHWEEK 24 – Sunday’s action begins with a clash between a Freiburg team potentially fatigued from their midweek trip to Italy and a despondent Hoffenheim squad, which began this week as the only Bundesliga side without a single point across the German top-flight’s last five rounds.
That could translate to something of a dud (cue the inevitable repeat of last season’s seven-goal thriller to make me look stupid!) – so this week the focus falls on Sunday’s later games, both of which could have massive ramifications in the race for a top-six finish.
Werder Bremen (11th) vs Bayer Leverkusen (9th)
Date: Sunday, 03/12/2023 at 11:30 AM EST
Pitch: Werder Bremen – Weserstadion, Bremen, Germany
Current Bundesliga Form: | Werder Bremen (LWLLW) | Leverkusen (WDLWL) |
Last Bundesliga Match: | Augsburg 2-1 Werder Bremen | | Leverkusen 4-1 Hertha Berlin |
Head to Head
Draft Kings Moneyline Odds: | HOME: +210 | TIE: +265 | AWAY: +105 |
Prop Bet: | First Goal Interval: 31-40 Min (+500) |
- None of Werder Bremen’s last 16 Bundesliga games have ended level.
- Werder Bremen have scored in the 76th minute or later in five of their last six league wins.
- None of the previous eight H2Hs have seen the host on the day win.
- Leverkusen’s last four league games all saw both teams score.
- Three of those also produced a total of over 3.5 goals.
- Leverkusen haven’t had a shutout in nine Bundesliga road trips.
- None of the last eight H2Hs have seen the host of the day lead at half-time.
- Half of those eight also produced a first period with no goals at all.
Although the mid-table region doesn’t typically get a lot of attention after February, this could be a very tense affair characterized by a classic prisoner’s dilemma. There will quite literally be no winners if this ends as a tie, as it would surely take something extraordinary to see either of them snatch sixth place and the final European qualification spot thereafter.
This is all the truer when considering the quality of others around them in the standings – especially with Frankfurt’s strength in attack, which is enabled much by golden boot contender Randal Kolo Muani, as well as Mainz’s incredible form so far this year.
With Werder Bremen currently nine points adrift of sixth place, the pressure is on them in particular to get forward. In Marvin Ducksch and Bundesliga top scorer Nicolas Füllkrug, there are two figures of reliability, with at least one of them getting onto the scoresheet in each of Bremen’s three victories posted this year.
As for Leverkusen, they are marginally the better side on paper and won’t fall for the same tricks bottom club Bochum did at the Weserstadion two weeks ago. ‘Die Werkself’ should also be well tuned-up, after a midweek battle against Hungarian side Ferencvaros they are expected to coast, but their notoriously leaky defense on the road could be an issue.
PREDICTION: WERDER BREMEN 2 – 1 LEVERKUSEN (+800)
Wolfsburg (8th) vs Union Berlin (3rd)
Date: Saturday, 03/12/2023 at 1:30 PM EST
Pitch: Wolfsburg – Volkswagen Arena, Wolfsburg, Germany
Current Bundesliga Form: | Wolfsburg (DWLDL) | Union Berlin (DLDWW) |
Last Bundesliga Match: | Wolfsburg 2-2 Frankfurt | | Union Berlin 0-0 Cologne |
Head to Head
Draft Kings Moneyline Odds: | HOME: +120 | TIE: +210 | AWAY: +225 |
Prop Bet: | Wolfsburg to score in both halves (+275) |
- Only one of seven Bundesliga H2H battles has seen both teams score in the first period.
- Wolfsburg’s last five home games to be won/lost have all separated the sides by 2+ Goals.
- Four of those saw the winner on the day get a shutout.
- Wolfsburg’s last three home league wins saw an even-numbered margin.
- Just one of Union Berlin’s previous 20 Bundesliga road trips has ended level.
- Union Berlin have scored after halftime in all three Bundesliga road wins of 2023.
- Of the visitors’ ten most recent away league defeats, eight saw them fail to score.
Nobody likes a “told you so”, but there is no doubt that reality has finally bitten for Union Berlin. Their 3-0 whitewash against serial champions Bayern Munich back on February 26 illustrated just how much they’ve overachieved this term, with that loss itself also being sandwiched by two unexpected scoring blanks on home turf.
That clearly signifies the issues many smaller teams have coping with continental combat alongside domestic duties. Union do midweek battle in Europe before league action again too, which can only tire them out all the more, ahead of a weekend that could even see them slip out of the top-three, despite starting all but one of the previous 17 matchweeks there.
Wolfsburg aren’t giving up on a top-six finish either, with a victory here – depending on the previous day’s events – potentially being enough to put them within two points of sixth place.
The ‘Wolves’ also have a perfect record from three prior home clashes against Union, with no goals conceded as a bonus. And though Union still won’t be easy to crack in defense, Yannick Gerhardt will fancy his chances at the very least, after netting in both of Wolfsburg’s last two league outings and rescuing a point in the latter of those (2-2 vs Frankfurt).
PREDICTION: WOLFSBURG 2 – 0 UNION BERLIN (+750)
Saturday’s Big Tip
Dortmund to beat Schalke 2-0 (+600)
The Ruhr region’s flagship rivalry – the ‘Revierderby’ contested between Schalke and Dortmund – holds its 160th all-time edition on Saturday. This ancient blood feud dates back to May 1925, when Schalke won out 4-2 and went on to become one of German football’s most respected clubs in the 20th century.
While the Royal Blues still boast an all-time advantage over their North Rhine-Westphalian nemesis (60W, 43T, 56L), Dortmund have dominated the fixture lately, with four straight victories and no goals conceded. And although Schalke have revived their survival hopes with wins in the past two rounds, Dortmund are a class apart.
Look out in particular for Julian Brandt, who is seeking to score in a third successive Bundesliga road trip for Dortmund, following a decisive strike at Hoffenheim back on February 25.
All prices correct as of March 7, 2023. Stats do not include friendlies or exhibitions.
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