Leagues Tipped:

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You may know Raph from his excellent work on BTSport 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!

Bayer Leverkusen v Hamburg (Sunday 5pm)

There was good news on Thursday for Leverkusen striker Lucas Alario as the club’s record signing finally received the FIFA clearance needed to play in the Bundesliga. The way Leverkusen played against Freiburg last weekend suggests Alario won’t be short of chances, should he make his first start for the club this weekend.

Leverkusen’s problems remain at the back. As sporting director Rudi Völler put it after their 2-1 defeat to Hertha on Wednesday night, they’re conceding too many cheap goals. Midfielder Julian Brandt was a little calmer in his assessment: “I wouldn’t start to freak out again now. The points will come.”

Perhaps he says that knowing that Hamburg are visiting the BayArena on Sunday. After winning their first two games of the season, three defeats have followed without scoring. Leverkusen are certainly fragile at the back, it's just a question of whether Hamburg can take advantage of that. Speedy winger Filip Kostic being out injured doesn’t help their cause.

You would expect this game to follow the pattern of Leverkusen’s last home game against Freiburg. Karim Bellarabi in particular was excellent in that victory and a repeat performance will see Hamburg struggle here.

  • Score prediction: Leverkusen 3, Hamburg 1 (19-2, Unibet)
  • First goal prediction: Karim Bellerabi (6-1, Unibet)
  • Safe bet: Leverkusen win (2-5, Unibet)

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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.

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