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German Bundesliga Preview and Best Bets

Eintracht Frankfurt vs Bayern Munich 

Over 3.5 goals 2.0

It’s the curtain raiser in the Bundesliga and it should be an exciting contest. Bayern Munich are the clear favourites as you’d expect. They’re coming off the back of a 5-3 victory against RB Leipzig in the Super Cup and have had a brilliant summer transfer window. Despite losing prolific striker Robert Lewandowski, Bayern have brought in Sadio Mané (Liverpool), Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus), Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax), Noussair Mazroui (Ajax), and Mathys Tel (Rennes), to name a few. Out of all of the players just mentioned, only Mané started last week’s cup victory. Coach Julian Nagelsmann could change it up for the first Bundesliga match but even if he doesn’t, he’s got the league’s best bench to change the game for him. 

Frankfurt have had a fairly quiet transfer window in comparison. Their most notable incomings include Norwegian winger Jens Petter Hauge from Milan, who spent last season on loan with The Eagles, and World Cup winner Mario Götze from PSV. At 30 years of age, it will be interesting to see how Götze fairs in the Bundesliga. If he can stay free of injury, he may just be able to help Frankfurt get back into the European places. We should also mention Filip Kostić here. The winger has been a key player for Frankfurt for some years. However, he’s been heavily linked with a move to either Juventus or West Ham United. If he isn’t in the squad for Friday’s game it could mean he is off and Frankfurt will certainly miss him.

Looking at Frankfurt’s 4-0 DFB Cup victory against 2. Bundesliga side Magdeburg last week, you’d be forgiven thinking that it was a solid win. However, they gave the ball away far too many times and were occasionally sloppy in defence. If they do that against Bayern, they’re going to get punished. It’s for this reason I think Bayern will win this one. In fact, if Frankfurt aren’t too careful it could be by a good few goals. 

Union Berlin vs Hertha Berlin 

Both Teams To Score 1.87

What could be better than a Berlin derby to kickstart this season this weekend? Union Berlin have been on an astronomical rise since their promotion in 2019. Finishing 5th last season, they’ve not only leapfrogged Hertha in becoming the capital’s best team but they’ve utterly embarrassed them along the way. Union’s 4:1 victory at the Olympic Stadium last season just emphasised the gulf in class between both clubs. 

Union’s success has come at a cost though. They lost key forward Taiwo Awoniyi to Nottingham Forest this summer. The Nigerian international became Union’s record transfer sale when he was sold for £18.5m. Die Eisernen never spend big and they have stuck to tradition when it came to finding a replacement forward. Union signed American Jordan Siebatcheu from Swiss club BSC Young Boys for just £5.40m. Last season, Siebatcheu was top goalscorer in the Swiss Super League with 22 goals, taking his tally to 27 goals in 45 games across all competitions for Young Boys. If he can convert this into the Bundesliga, Union will have another good year. 

Hertha needed to replace a lot of deadwood this summer. Out came the likes of Arne Maier, Javairô Dilrosun, and Jordan Torunarigha – In came Wilfred Kanga (Young Boys), Jonjoe Kenny (Everton), Jessic Ngankam (Greuther Fürth), Filip Uremović (Rubin Kazan), Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow) and more. It’s hard to know which Hertha will turn up. They had a fairly unpleasant pre-season losing to Derby County, Nottingham Forest, and West Bromwich Albion. To top it off, after drawing 4-4 with Eintracht Braunschweig in the DFB Cup, they lost on penalties. 

I still think Union have the edge out of the two sides. It might not be a landslide victory, in fact both sides might score, but Union should be able to get the job done. 

Borussia Dortmund vs Bayer Leverkusen 

Borussia Dortmund to win 2.05

The late kick-off on Saturday, this should cap off an excellent day of German Bundesliga football. Dortmund got to work early in the transfer window and began building for a possible title challenge this season. Some of their key signings include Nico Schlotterbeck (Freiburg), Niklas Süle (Bayern Munich), Karim Adeyemi (RB Salzburg), and Sébastien Haller (Ajax). Süle will be missing from the opening game due to injury but expect Mats Hummels to fill in for the 26 year old. As you may know, Haller will unfortunately be out for a good few months as he battles a cancerous tumour which was recently discovered in his testicles. Dortmund are still looking for a temporary replacement for Haller but still have plenty of quality on show. It’s a massive season for them and head coach Edin Terzić. If they want to win the title, it’s these types of games that they have to win. 

On the other hand, Bayer Leverkusen have only brought in a couple of players including the exciting prospect forward Adam Hložek from Sparta Prague for around £11.70m. B04 have done well to keep the likes of Patrik Schick, Florian Wirtz, and Moussa Diaby who is still being monitored by Newcastle United and PSG. Last weekend, Bayer suffered a shock defeat to 3. Liga side SV Elversberg who were only playing Regionalliga football last season. The 4:3 loss will be a big wake up call for Leverkusen. If they play like that this weekend, expect them to lose. 

In front of a packed Signal Iduna Park with fans full of optimism and hope, it’s hard to look past a home win here. BVB looked great against 1860 Munich in the DFB last weekend. Okay, it’s another 3. Liga side but they were ruthless! 

Wolfsburg vs Werder Bremen 

Under 2.5 Goals 2.1

Wolfsburg had a disappointing campaign last season. Head coach Niko Kovac has the task of getting Wolfsburg back near the European places. However, i think they’re in for a tough time. Their main losses in the transfer window so far have been midfielder Xaver Schlager to RB Leipzig and Kevin Mbabu to Fulham. However, they have brought in Mattias Svanberg (Bologna), Jakub Kaminski (Lech Poznan), and Patrick Wimmer (Arminia Bielefeld). The Wolves do also pose a threat with the likes of Max Kruse, Lukas Nmecha, and Ridle Baku. It’ll be interesting to see how they get on this season. They have a great opportunity to get the best start possible when they face newly-promoted Werder Bremen on Saturday. 

Since their promotion back into the Bundesliga, Bremen have been hard at work in the transfer window without actually spending loads of money. The majority of their incomings have been free transfers. This includes Niklas Stark (Hertha Berlin), Oliver Burke (Sheffield United), Lee Buchanan (Derby County), Amos Piper (Arminia Bielefeld), and more. Bremen have also brought in versatile Danish international Jens Stage from FC Copenhagen for a reported £3.60m. The midfielder played 111 competitive matches for Copenhagen, scoring 21 goals and producing 11 assists. 

Based on Bremen’s arrivals as well as their existing squad, I do expect them to stay up this season. It’s games like this that they may feel that they can get something from. Wolfsburg should dominate this match but don’t rule out the new boys to come away with something. This could be a draw no bet or under 2.5 goals. Either way, it could be a closer game than many others think.

Stuttgart vs RB Leipzig 

Leipzig to Win 1.75

Stuttgart finished just outside the relegation play-off spot last season and many believe that they’re in for another tough campaign. They have made a couple of signings with the best being centre back Josha Vagnoman from 2. Bundesliga side Hamburg. In terms of outgoings, Stuttgart are going to miss Orel Mangala (Nottingham Forest) and Philipp Förster (Bochum). Stuttgart’s success will depend on their forward’s this season. They’ve recruited Luca Pfeiffer from FC Midtjylland and will hope to keep wanted marksman Saša Kalajdzic who’s been linked with a move to England and possibly Manchester United. Kalajdzic scored six and created two in 15 Bundesliga games last season including a vital goal on the last day to help keep them up. 

Despite the rumours, Stuttgart are relaxed about the situation. Sporting director Sven Mislintat said: “[There’s] always three options: you sell, you extend or let the contract expire if there are no offers that make sense to accept them. We are in excellent talks with Saša about his situation. And for me it’s always important when they are there, that they give their all and he does that, you can see that in every training session.”

Regardless of Stuttgart’s situation they’re up against it when they host Leipzig this Sunday. The Saxons have managed to extend the contract of wanted striker Christopher Nkunku as well as see off Bayern and keep Konrad Laimer (for now). They’ve also recruited Xaver Schlager from Wolfsburg and David Raum from Hoffenheim. Both players are known for getting forward and assisting in attack. Raum had one of the highest cross ratios in Europe last season. From the left-back position, he could prove a real asset when setting up the likes of André Silva and Nkunku. For this game, you just can’t look past Leipzig’s attacking prowess and clear superiority despite being away from home. 

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