Gladbach & Leverkusen Battle for European Placings
Members of Borussia Monchengladbach celebrate with new social distancing celebration guidelines last weekend. Photo by @borussia_en (Twitter)
- Matchday 27 in the German Bundesliga begins on Friday with the Berlin Derby between Hertha Berlin and Union Berlin
- Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen highlight the weekend slate with a top-five matchup on Saturday
- Odds for each game on Matchday 27 plus our best bets from the weekend follow below
The German Bundesliga returned to play last weekend to empty, quiet stadiums, but to an otherwise overall success. FOX reported record ratings, sportsbooks took in plenty of handle on the matches and no virus-related incidents came up.
Substitutes sat in the stands spaced apart in masks, training staff wore masks, five subs were allowed and most players abided by the physically distanced celebration protocols. Unless your name is Hertha Berlin, who walked to their own drum and celebrated like nothing in the world had changed.
Augsburg were also without new head coach Heiko Herrlich who was to be making his debut with the club, but sat out as he broke quarantine protocols to go out and buy toothpaste. While Union Berlin manager Urs Fischer was away for family bereavement.
.@BetMGM says it had its best week since the start of the pandemic “by a significant margin.”
UFC drew the most betting interest, followed by Bundesliga soccer and golf match between McIlroy-Johnson and Folwer-Wolff.
Table tennis attracted more betting handle than NASCAR.
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) May 18, 2020
The title race looks to have shortened to two teams, with Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund both winning. But RB Leipzig came up short and gave up ground with a 1-1 draw vs Freiburg despite controlling much of the game. Whether it had anything to do with empty stadiums or not may still be too soon to judge, but home teams won just one of the nine matches (Dortmund). However, top-ranked sides Bayern, Gladbach and Leverkusen did all happen to be on the road last week.
The high-scoring nature of the Bundesliga continued with OVER 2.5 totals cashing in six of nine matches and both teams scoring in five of the nine.
The league continues this weekend with another nine matches from Friday-Sunday and we’re looking at some of the top bets to make on Matchday 27.
Bundesliga Matchday 27 Odds
|Hertha Berlin||0, -0.5 (-105)||+130||O 2.5 (-105)|
|Union Berlin||0, +0.5 (-115)||+220||U 2.5 (-115)|
|Borussia Monchengladbach||0, -0.5 (+110)||+135||O 3, 3.5 (EVEN)|
|Bayer Leverkusen||0, +0.5 (-130)||+180||U 3, 3.5 (-120)|
|Freiburg||0, -0.5 (-110)||+115||O 2.5, 3 (-110)|
|Werder Bremen||0, +0.5 (-110)||+220||U 2.5, 3 (-110)|
|Paderborn||0, +0.5 (+105)||+230||O 3 (-105)|
|Hoffenheim||0, -0.5 (-125)||+110||U 3 (-115)|
|Wolfsburg||+0.5, +1 (-110)||+355||O 3 (EVEN)|
|Borussia Dortmund||-0.5, -1, (-110)||-140||U 3 (-120)|
|Bayern Munich||-2, -2.5 (-115)||-700||O 3.5, 4 (-120)|
|Eintracht Frankfurt||+2, +2.5 (-105)||+1600||U 3.5, 4 (EVEN)|
|Schalke||-0.5 (EVEN)||EVEN||O 2.5 (-115)|
|Augsburg||+0.5 (-120)||+275||U 2.5 (-105)|
|Mainz||+1, +1.5 (-115)||+525||O 3, 3.5 (-105)|
|RB Leipzig||-1, -1.5 (-105)||-215||U 3, 3.5 (-115)|
|Koln||-0.5 (-125)||-125||O 2.5, 3 (-115)|
|Dusseldorf||+0.5 (+105)||+315||U 2.5, 3 (-105)|
All odds taken May 20
Pick 1: Hertha Berlin vs Union Berlin
The Berlin Derby kicks off the weekend on Friday afternoon at 2:30 pm EST between Hertha Berlin and Union Berlin.
Hertha were 3-0 winners on the road to Hoffenheim last weekend, while Union fell 2-0 at home the league-leaders Bayern 2-0.
In the only recent meeting between the teams in this derby, it was Union Berlin scoring a late penalty from Sebastian Polter in the 87′ minute back in November. The teams have only played on four other previous occasions and none since 2013.
Hertha have been up and down all season with a poor start to the year picking up only three wins in 14 matches. They’ve since turned their season around with a win on December 14 sparking a run that has seen them lose just three in their next 12. Unsurprisingly, those results have balanced themselves out to see them currently sitting near mid-table with 31 points, just one ahead of 12th-placed Union.
Die Alte Dame entered the league-stoppage with back-to-back draws (3-3, 2-2) and came out of the break bagging three goals in their 3-0 win over Hoffenheim. And while a win over the struggling, yet ninth-placed Hoffenheim is still a good result, those draws did come against the relegation-threatened Dusseldorf and Bremen. Previous to that, they were routed 5-0 to Cologne, defeated bottom side Paderborn and lost 3-1 to 14th-placed Mainz. So while their recent form guide looks strong, there are some cracks.
Bundesliga players will be reminded of the return-to-play guidelines before next weekend's matches after Hertha Berlin's players ignored social distancing rules in goal celebration.#NTVAtOne @IdahWaringa pic.twitter.com/pWMl7B1Stu
— NTV News (@NTVnewsroom) May 19, 2020
Union were always going to be big outsiders to come away with points against Bayern on the weekend, but did hang around in the match. They conceded late in both halves—a Robert Lewandowski penalty at the 40′ minute and a Benjamin Pavard headed goal from a corner kick in the 80′ minute. They also played most of the match without leading goalscorer Sebastian Andersson who only subbed on in the 71′ minute. He was making his return from a knee injury and Union will be hoping he’ll be fully fit to start the match on Friday.
Union have now gone three matches without picking up a win and have taken the full three points only three times in their past 12 matches.
On recent form, Hertha looks to be a good value bet. But it’s important to remember the reverse fixture was just minutes away from ending scoreless and that Union held the advantage in possession, attempts and shots on target. This time around, Hertha will be the “home” team, minus the home fans and another tight affair could be in the cards.
Pick: Draw (+230), BTTS (-145)
2020 Bundesliga Trophy Odds Tracker
Pick 2: Borussia Monchengladbach vs Bayer Leverkusen
The weekend’s marquee match sees third-place Borussia Monchengladbach hosting fifth-placed Bayer Leverkusen. On top of both teams being in the hunt for European places and both being high-scoring sides, the match may also get a few extra eyeballs to get a glimpse of the cardboard cutout fans that Borussia have filled Borussia-Park with.
Back to the pitch, and with their 3-1 away win over Frankfurt last weekend, Gladbach have now jumped up to third place, six points back of leaders Bayern. While Leverkusen were also road winners in a 4-1 dismantling of Werder Bremen on Monday.
Borussia Mönchengladbach are making sure their fans are still in attendance as the Bundesliga returns this weekend! 👏 pic.twitter.com/b3t33r2UMc
— The Sun Football ⚽ (@TheSunFootball) May 14, 2020
Gladbach pounced on Frankfurt early, going up 2-0 just seven minutes into the match and adding a third through penalty in the 73′. Frankfurt was unable to provide much in response with their lone goal coming late in the 81′ minute.
Leverkusen now sit in a Europa League position and one point back of Leipzig for the Champions League placings after their victory. A flurry of goals during a five-minute spell in the first half saw Leverkusen take a 2-1 lead into the half on Monday through two Kai Havertz goals. The lead would prove to be enough for the win, but Die Werkself added two more in the second half. Bayer put nine shots on target compared to Werder’s one.
When these sides last met in November, it was a 2-1 away win for Gladbach with all goals coming in the first half. Last year Gladbach won both league meetings, 1-0 away and 2-0 at home, while Leverkusen were 5-0 away winners in the DFB-Pokal.
20 year old Kai Havertz now has 16 goals/assists in his last 13 games in all competitions, whilst playing various different roles as a right winger, number 10 and today as a central striker.
On absolute fire 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/zUsiO5LGcm
— Premier League Panel (@PremLeaguePanel) May 18, 2020
On the season, Borussia have been stingy defensively on their own pitch allowing only 16 goals in 13 matches, but haven’t kept a clean sheet overall in nine matches. At home, they’ve conceded in 11/12, while outscoring opponents 30-16 in those 12 matches.
Leverkusen has scored in each of their past ten matches, outscoring opponents 27-9. On the road, they’ve kept just three clean sheets in 13 matches. It’s hard to envision a scenario where both teams don’t find the back of the net in this one, with at least one likely doing so multiple times.
Pick: Both teams to score and Over 2.5 goals (-135)
Pick 3: Cologne vs Fortuna Dusseldorf
The final match of the weekend sees tenth-placed Cologne hosting 16th-placed Fortuna Dusseldorf at 12:00 pm EST Sunday afternoon.
Dusseldorf currently sit in the relegation playoff position, four points away from safety and five above direct relegation. Theirs was the only scoreless match from last weekend, a 0-0 home draw with Paderborn, the team sitting bottom in the table. Despite their low ranking in the table, Dusseldorf have now collected points in four-straight matches with three-straight draws and one win.
Those three draws haven’t come against the league’s top sides though as Paderborn, Mainz and Hertha Berlin all reside in the bottom half of the table. However, a 2-0 road win over Freiburg in February was a strong showing.
If we look back to the fall, Fortuna also recorded a 2-0 result over this weekend’s opponents Cologne despite holding just under 40-percent of the possession. But Cologne was a much different side back then having won just two of their opening nine matches prior to their meeting with Dusseldorf. That loss came during a 0-1-5 record (WDL) between wins.
But Cologne since that period has been one of the league’s top sides with just three losses in their past 12. Those losses came away to Dortmund and Gladbach and home to Bayern Munich—no shame in that. Last weekend they jumped out to a quick lead over Mainz with a 6′ PK goal from Mark Uth, before extending their lead early in the second half. However, Mainz would strike back with goals in the 61′ and 72′ minutes to see the game end level 2-2. Uth now has five goals and four assists in eight matches since joining Cologne in January.
UWE ROSLER: The Bundesliga's return has worked so far and I felt as safe as I could be while managing Fortuna Dusseldorf… but we are still on thin ice https://t.co/wfEGaXvu5H
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) May 18, 2020
Cologne have lost just once at home in their past eight (vs Bayern) and a win, coupled with some other favorable results, could see them only three points out of Europa League places. They’ve also scored multiple goals in four of their past five. Cologne looks like a good bet to win at -125), but a safer play may be for the Billy Goats to score multiple goals (-140) or on both teams to score at -155.
Pick: Cologne to score Over 1.5 goals (-140)
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