It was a hectic match day three in the Bundesliga with some eye-raising results. There are some cracking fixtures to look forward to this weekend which should provide an equal amount of entertainment. Here are your previews and predictions for match day four in the German Bundesliga.
Freiburg vs Bochum
Over 2.5 goals – 4/7 (1.57)
This weekend’s action begins on Friday evening as Freiburg in 5th host rock bottom Bochum in 18th. Freiburg have had a solid start to the season, winning two and losing one to Dortmund in the dying minutes. New forward Michael Gregoritsch from Augsburg has settled in well and has scored in all but one game so far this campaign. Along with the likes of Vincenzo Grifo, who has also been a threat in front of goal, the duo can cause real problems.
This doesn’t make good reading for Bochum. They’ve played three and lost three which includes a 7-0 home defeat to Bayern Munich last weekend. It’s clear they’ve got defensive issues. In the week before the Bayern mauling they gave away a two goal lead to lose against Hoffenhiem. So even when they get their noses in front, they are struggling to stay on top for a full 90 minutes. At the beginning of the season, I tipped Bochum to struggle and face a bit of second-season syndrome. So far, they’re living up to this expectation. Against Bayern, Bochum went for a 4-4-2 which proved pointless with all due respect. However, they’re not going to come up against a better team than Bayern this season. Having learnt from last weekend, they might be able to put the 4-4-2 formation to better use and hope that Simon Zoller has his shooting boots on.
I feel Bochum would take a point from this one just to stop the rot and get their campaign underway. They have to at some point but this might not be the day. With such a poor defence, if Freiburg get on top there could be goals in this one.
Hertha Berlin vs Borussia Dortmund
Both teams to score – No – 13/8 (2.62)
Both teams lost last weekend. Dortmund in the most dramatic of ways by throwing away a two goal lead after 89 minutes against Werder Bremen. That is the first time in Bundesliga history that a team has lost after having a two goal cushion going into the 90th minute. On the other hand, Hertha lost 1-0 to Borussia Mönchengladbach and had centre back Filip Uremović sent off in the second half.
Dortmund will not want a repeat of last weekend and getting a clean sheet away in Berlin would be the perfect response. They’re playing against a Hertha side that has only scored two and conceded 5 in three matches. Only Bayer Leverkusen have a worse record in front of goal so far this season.
If BVB are serious about challenging Bayern this season, they’ll need to get back to winning ways straight away. You’re always going to hit bumps throughout a campaign but it’s all about the reaction, that’s what breeds a winning mentality. It’s up to the likes of Nico Schlotterbeck, Mats Hummels, Jude Bellingham, and Marco Reus to step up and lead by example. It will also be interesting to see who starts up top for Dortmund. Against Bremen, Anthony Modeste got his first start but didn’t do much. Will Edin Terzić back the Frenchman or opt for Youssoufa Moukoko? If it’s Modeste, he needs a big game to get off the mark in front of goal.
I imagine Hertha to set up as they have done in each game so far in a 4-3-3 formation. With either a front three of Chidera Ejuke, Dodi Lukebakio, and Wilfried Kanga or Davie Selke in replace of Kanga. At the back, Márton Dárdai will more than likely replace the suspended Uremović.
I can’t see Dortmund making the same mistake twice. They should win this one and will put emphasis on keeping a clean sheet.
RB Leipzig vs Wolfsburg
Over 1.5 goals in the first half – 7/5 (2.4)
Both teams are without a win and on 2 points each. It’s been a tricky start for Leipzig who would have expected to win at least one of their opening three matches. Likewise for Wolfsburg, they’ve been frustrated by two newly-promoted sides Bremen and Schalke while losing 2-0 to Bayern which is to be expected.
I think this is Leipzig’s moment to get their season underway with a home win. Despite losing away to Union Berlin last weekend, they should be able to respond in front of their own fans this time out. With the likes of Timo Werner, Christopher Nkunku, and Konrad Laimer to name but a few, it’s surely only a matter of time before they get their first win. Head coach Domenico Tedesco will be a bit frustrated with his side dominating possession but lacking that killer like they had at the end of last season. In last weekend’s defeat to Union, the Saxon’s had 74% of the ball! However, I and many others will agree that this will come. When it does, Leipzig will be a hard team to stop.
Wolfsburg face a tough challenge but will take inspiration from the likes of Köln and Union. They might not have the same quality of players in my opinion but they don’t leak goals at the same time. Even against Bayern, they only conceded twice and when you look at the 7-0 thrashing of Bochum, 2-0 doesn’t sound too bad at all.
I expect Leipzig to dominate this one and if they can get in front early doors should claim all three points.
Bayern Munich vs Borussia Mönchengladbach
Over 3.5 goals – 1/2 (1.5)
Borussia Mönchengladbach have been a bit of a bogey team for Bayern Munich in recent years. This includes a 5-0 win for Gladbach in last year’s DFB Pokal and 3-2 victory in the following January in the Bundesliga. Since then, Bayern have beaten Gladbach 6-0 towards the end of last season but that was when the title was wrapped up and there wasn’t much to play for.
If there is one team who can beat Bayern on their home patch, the records tell us that is Gladbach. Now the odds are of course still completely stacked in Bayern’s favour. However, if you did fancy a separate bet, I wouldn’t be against backing Gladbach, you just never know!
Bayern have been in outstanding goalscoring form so far in their first three games. This includes last weekend’s hammering of Bochum (7-0) and their 6-1 win against Frankfurt on the opening day. With some of the best attacking options in Europe, I expect goals in this one. Despite Jamal Musiala being ruled out, Bayern will have Leroy Sané, Thomas Müller, and the likes to fill in the missing spot. Though, don’t rule out Gladbach to get a goal or two of their own. When these two play, more often than not both teams score at least one or two.
For this one, I think both teams will give it a good go and goals to come in their plenty. There may even be a shock result in the mix as well.
FC Köln vs Stuttgart
FC Köln to Win – 21/20 (2.05)
Both of these sides have had a decent start and are where you’d expect them to be after the opening three fixtures. Köln are currently in 8th, having won one and drew two whereas Stuttgart are in 12th having drawn two and lost one.
Köln are coming off the back of a slightly disappointing 1-1 draw in Frankfurt. It was a rather tight game with chances coming at a premium. With Köln trailing with ten minutes to go, a draw probably looks a better result upon reflection. At home this weekend, I think the billy goats are in a good position to get their second three points of the season.
For the away side, it’s news off the pitch that is making the headlines. Stuttgart forward Saša Kalajdžić has been linked with a move away this summer with Manchester United reportedly interested. This has now escalated with fellow Premier League side Wolves leading the charge to sign the Austrian international. Speaking on Monday, the club’s Sporting Director, Sven Mislintat, confirmed interest from Wolves in Kalajdžić. The tall forward has proved critical in the opening matches having created three in three for Stuttgart. Wolves have made an opening offer but Stuttgart are said to want a bit more for their striker. Kalajdžić was also absent from the team’s training match this week only adding more fuel to the transfer whispers.
Who knows if Kalajdžić will feature for Stuggart this weekend? If he isn’t there, he will be a massive loss and will almost likely be heading to Wolverhampton.
I mentioned in my Bundesliga preview that Stuttgart’s position in the Bundesliga depends on the future of Kalajdžic. If they sell him at such a late stage in the window, it could prove costly. If he isn’t there to face Köln, they may find it difficult to create chances especially with Köln more than likely having more of the ball.