Saturday 2.30pm: FC Köln vs Union Berlin – FC Köln to win and both teams to score
FC Köln picked up another point last weekend against Augsburg, but that draw extended their winless run in the league to six matches.
They will be desperately looking forward to getting back to home comforts, where their only defeats in the last 10 league home games have come against Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig.
In that period, Markus Gisdol’s side have generated an average of 2.1 xGF per game, while allowing less than 0.8 xGA in half of those games which all means they are a strong home team.
Union Berlin were unfortunate to be held by Schalke last weekend after nearly the perfect all-round performance according to expected goals (xG: UNI 2.63 – 0.15 SCH).
While that was a positive performance, it did come at home where their progress is good. On the road they are extremely poor, especially at the back, allowing 1.9 xGA per away game.
We think FC Köln will get the win here, taking advantage of Union’s defensive shortcomings, but Union should get on the scoresheet. Back FC Köln to win and both teams to score.
Faced with a tough fixture at home to in-form Hoffenheim last weekend, everything looked to going swimmingly for Fortuna Düsseldorf, who were a goal and a man to the good inside the first ten minutes.
They could not take advantage however, with the visitors hitting back either side of half-time, before a Rouwen Hennings penalty saved Fortuna’s blushes. That was just the second time this season that Fortuna have recorded an xGF of more than 2.0, with their league average a paltry 1.2 per game.
Fortuna have been a bit tighter at the back in recent weeks, especially at home, and with a defensive mind-set expected, they could look at halting Dortmund rather than go for the win. Borussia Dortmund were deserved winners against Hertha Berlin last weekend, mainly thanks to a fantastic defensive display, something we are seeing from them more often.
Lucien Favre’s side may be the second-highest scorers in the Bundesliga, but they are only fifth in the table when it comes to xGF. Their average of 1.9 xGF per game is some 1.0 short of league leaders Bayern Munich.
A lot of Dortmund’s impressive performances have come at Signal Iduna Park this season however, and while BVB haven’t exactly struggled away from home, they have perhaps not carried the same potency, creating chances equating to just 1.6 xGF on the road this season, compared to their 2.1 xGF at home.
Last week we tipped up a low-scoring Dortmund win, and something similar could be on the cards here. Back Dortmund to win with under 2.5 goals in the game.
Hertha Berlin were surprisingly tame last weekend against Borussia Dortmund, creating next to nothing in a deserved 1-0 defeat. Prior to that game, they had averaged 2.0 xGF per game since the restart, allowing 1.2 xGA per game, a process of a top six team.
In their two home games since Bruno Labbadia’s arrival in the dugout, they have been extremely impressive, generating 4.9 xGF, and we expect them to get back to that attacking style in this game.
Eintracht Frankfurt have been hard-done-by in terms of schedule, as their re-arranged game with Werder Bremen took place last week, days before their game with Mainz, and the same thing has happened this week, with Adi Hütter’s side playing in the DFB-Pokal semi-final on Wednesday.
It’s another short turnaround, and if their game at home to Mainz is any indication of what to expect, then they could well be on the end of another convincing defeat here (xG: FRA 0.4 – 3.3 MAI).
In their last eight league games, Frankfurt have conceded more than 2.0 xGA on five occasions, so are extremely vulnerable defensively. Couple that with a short turnaround, and it is hard to make a case for them here. Hertha should get another home win here in an entertaining clash. Back Hertha to win with over 2.5 goals.
Saturday 2.30pm: Paderborn vs Werder Bremen – Under 2.5 goals in the game
Paderborn remain bottom of the table despite a deserved and surprising point away at RB Leipzig last weekend, where they benefited from a first half red card for RBL. That was their fourth draw in five games since the restart, so they have been tighter since the break, but it is not going to be enough.
They sit bottom of our xG table, and are 11 points from safety with four games left. They could be relegated after this game, but a result here means they could eventually take Werder with them. Werder Bremen’s mini-resurgence is a distant memory after back-to-back home defeats to Frankfurt and Wolfsburg, meaning they are now six points from safety with four games left. This is must-win.
It is no surprise to see them in the predicament they are in, as their attacking process is so bad, and just hasn’t picked up at any point in the season. They are the worst attacking team in the league (33.7 xGF, 1.1 per game). In their last 10 games, Werder have averaged 0.7 xGF per game, a tragically low number. If this number doesn’t improve, then they have no hope of surviving this season.
Paderborn and Werder are two of the worst attacking teams in the Bundesliga, and given what is at stake for both, a cagey affair is likely. Back under 2.5 goals in the game.
Wolfsburg left it late to beat Werder Bremen last weekend, but their performance was almost perfect, and ultimately ended in a deserved win that kept them sixth. Since the restart, they have won all three away games, and lost both home games to Dortmund and Frankfurt, though they were unfortunate to lose the latter (xG: WOL 2.4 – 1.8 FRA).
Many will be put off the hosts in this match given their points haul (18) and wins (4) in their 15 home games, but their underlying process at the Volkswagen Arena is impressive (1.4 xGF, 1.1 xGA per game). What we have also seen since the restart, is an improvement in attacking numbers, averaging 1.9 xGF per game, with their season-long average at 1.6. They are getting better.
Freiburg are also in the hunt for that sixth spot, and their win over Borussia Mönchengladbach means they are only four points behind Wolfsburg, making this a huge game for them. They continue to be one of the Bundesliga’s biggest over-performers of xG, which is not a good thing.
Freiburg were fortunate to still be on level terms at the break last weekend, and that sort of thing has been going for them all season long. This level of over-performance is unsustainable.
Their process on the road is horrendous, allowing 2.3 xGA per game, so Wolfsburg should have no issues creating chances here, and we think they are a good bet to get the win. Back Wolfsburg to win and with 2.5 goals in the game.
- Back all five of these tips in an acca and get odds of just over 223/1 with Paddy Power.
Our Bundesliga weekend tipping summary
FC Köln to beat Union Berlin and both teams to score
Dortmund to win with under 2.5 goals in the game
Hertha to beat Frankfurt with over 2.5 goals in the game
Under 2.5 goals in the Paderborn vs Werder Bremen game
Wolfsburg to beat Friburg with over 2.5 goals in the game
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