WE'RE delighted to welcome German Football expert Raphael Honigstein to the site for the new season thanks to our partner Unibet.
You may know Raph from his excellent work on BT Sport where he shares his knowledge of the European game and we're hoping he can make some of that know-how pay for us on MrFixitsTips. Best of luck Raphael!
Bayern Munich v Freiburg (Saturday 2.30pm)
Jupp Heynckes began his fourth stint in charge of Bayern Munich on Monday, declaring: “Our team has potential and quality. We need to start showing that quality again. We need to stand as a team on the pitch.”
Defensively, big improvements are required with Bayern having thrown away two-goal leads in each of their last two Bundesliga games – something they’d never previously done in their history.
Freiburg tucked a first win of the season under their belt before the international break, edging out Hoffenheim 3-2. This is likely to be a different equation as midfielder Mike Frantz recognised earlier this week: “We have to be humble and capable of suffering.”
If you want to look at how well they can acquit themselves against the biggest teams in the league, then look no further than the resilience they showed in shutting out league leaders Dortmund earlier in the campaign.
On the other hand, Christian Streich’s side have already suffered big defeats at Leverkusen and Leipzig so far this season.
Heynckes’ return is likely to rev up the Bayern squad up that little bit more than when Willy Sagnol was in charge last time out against Hertha.
Franck Ribery has joined Manuel Neuer on the sidelines, with both out until the new year. The firepower though is still there for Bayern to cut through Freiburg, with Robert Lewandowski, as ever, in excellent form. Even if the opponents aren’t the sharpest shooters in the division, they’re still good enough to nick a goal at the Allianz Arena.
- Correct score: Bayern 3, Freiburg 1 (19-2, Unibet)
- First goal: Lewankdowski (9-5, Unibet)
- Both teams to score (Evens, Unibet)
Hoffenheim v Augsburg (Saturday 2.30pm)
No team has run further so far this season in the Bundesliga than Hoffenheim. It is not surprising then, given that they’re playing in the Europa League too, that players such as Andrej Kramaric and Havard Nordveit have both talked of tiredness.
Even if goalkeeper Oliver Baumann did not want to use it as an excuse after defeat to Freiburg, a lack of concentration certainly seemed to contribute to the first two goals they conceded in the Black Forest.
That was only the first defeat that Julian Nagelsmann’s side have suffered so far this season, which is still quite impressive. Augsburg too have begun the campaign better than many expected. They acquitted themselves well against Dortmund last time out and were a little unfortunate not to have taken a point in the end.
There have been doubts over the fitness of three defenders in Martin Hinteregger, Philipp Max, Rani Khedira but all three look set to start in Sinsheim on Saturday.
What will perhaps be most crucial to the game’s outcome though is the return from injury of Hoffenheim midfielder Kerem Demirbay. He has been a revelation since joining from Hamburg last season and is crucial when it comes to making the team tick.
So too is Sandro Wagner who scored against both Northern Ireland and Azerbaijan over the international break to make it five goals in five caps for Germany thus far.
Whilst Augsburg have proven difficult to break down this season, you’d anticipate that Hoffenheim and Wagner will be good enough to do just that on Saturday.
- Correct score: Hoffenheim 2, Augsburg 1 (7-1, Unibet)
- First scorer: Wagner (7-2, Unibet)
- Hoffenheim win (39-50, Unibet)
Dortmund v Leipzig (Saturday 5.30pm)
Dortmund’s trip to Augsburg produced two great goals, with Andrey Yarmolenko’s cheeky back heel followed by an outrageous chip from Shinji Kagawa to deliver a 2-1 victory.
Coach Peter Bosz was nevertheless not amused by his team’s overall performance, saying it was the worst display from Dortmund since he arrived in the summer.
Leipzig’s trip to Cologne last time out showed they too can be susceptible, even if they also won 2-1. A better side like Dortmund would have punished them but you can expect them to bring a greater intensity here.
Goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi talked after that game about how they would want to defend high up and the need to therefore play smartly.
That approach mirrors how Dortmund have played so far this season under Bosz – something which has worked with great success in the Bundesliga but not so much in the Champions League.
Dortmund will be without Lukasz Piszczek now until the second half of the season after he was injured playing for Poland but it’s a great chance for Germany Under-21 full-back Jeremy Toljan to shine.
As for Leipzig, Timo Werner is back in training having missed the game against Cologne and both of Germany’s World Cup qualifiers during the international break through injury.
Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhüttl has already pointed out that Dortmund are unbeaten in their last 41 Bundesliga home games but that equally, every run can be broken too.
That should partly be seen as a signal of intent ahead of what should be an open and attacking game.
- Correct score: Dortmund 4, Leipzig 2 (28-1, Unibet)
- First scorer: Philipp (23-4, Unibet)
- Over 3.5 goals (28-25, 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.