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Hertha Berlin v Bayern Munich (Sunday 2.30pm)
A 3-0 defeat to PSG turned out to be the final act of Carlo Ancelotti’s time at Bayern Munich. It wasn’t the first time that Bayern have been that poor defensively this season – just that this time the opposition was able to capitalise fully on their weaknesses.
Closing up the holes in defence has to be the priority for assistant coach Willy Sagnol, who will take charge of the game in Berlin on Sunday. It wouldn’t be all that surprising if the likes of Arjen Robben, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng were to return to the starting lineup for the game against Hertha. Having been left out by Ancelotti for the PSG game, they might feel they have something of a point to prove.
Hertha didn’t fare much better than Bayern during their European excursion this week. They lost by a goal to nil to Swedish underdogs Östersunds. Pal Dardai was not too critical of his side’s performance after the defeat, saying that only goals were lacking from his side.
Bayern won’t be underestimating their trip to the Olympiastadion though. That neither Borussia Dortmund nor Bayern won there last season says something in itself. Only a 97th minute equaliser from Robert Lewandowski prevented the champions from losing last season. Yet, given Ancelotti’s sacking, you would expect a significant reaction from Bayern on Sunday.
- Score prediction: Hertha 1, Bayern 3 (11-1, Unibet)
- First goal prediction: Robert Lewankdowski (21-10, Unibet)
- Best bet: Bayern win -1 (17-20, Unibet)
Cologne v RB Leipzig (Sunday 5pm)
Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhüttl wasn’t afraid to criticise his side’s performance against Besiktas after they lost 2-0 in Turkey on Tuesday night. He put his team’s defeat most of all down to the atmosphere and how some players weren’t able to cope.
Timo Werner, usually Leipzig’s most reliable player up front, was one such team member, though Hasenhüttl claimed he’d had breathing and circulation issues.
He should be fit though for the trip to Cologne, who endured their own European nightmare against Red Star Belgrade. They lost 1-0 on Thursday night despite hitting the post on three occasions in the second half.
Coach Peter Stöger was a lot more upbeat in his analysis after his side’s performance in the second half (“I told them [the players] that’s exactly what I wanted to see”) but that’s a tone that Stöger has to take with Cologne’s current predicament. Defeat to Red Star was their seventh defeat in eight with a draw against Hannover last weekend their only point to date in the Bundesliga.
The long term injury of utility man Jonas Hector has badly affected the side but losing Anthony Modeste to China has hurt the most. Cologne have scored just one goal in the Bundesliga this season.
Even if Leipzig have only won one of their four away games in all competitions so far this season, it’s difficult to see the tide turning for Cologne on Sunday, such is the attacking quality that Leipzig have at their disposal.
- Score prediction: Cologne 1, Leipzig 2 (15-2, Unibet)
- First goal prediction: Timo Werner (7-2, Unibet)
- Best bet: Leipzig win (49-50, Unibet)
Munich-born Raphael Honigstein writes about football for Germany’s biggest broadsheet, Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Guardian, ESPNFC and his tips appear here thanks to our football partner at MrFixitsTips, Unibet. They're making a big splash in the UK betting scene and if you join them today you can claim up to £30 in Welcome Bonuses when you deposit and place your first bet.