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!

Freiburg v Dortmund, Saturday 2.30pm

Borussia Dortmund’s record against Freiburg in recent years has been one sided, having won their last 12 games against Christian Streich’s team. The convincing manner in which Peter Bosz’s side have begun the campaign suggests a thirteenth straight victory should follow in the Black Forest this weekend. Captain Marcel Schmelzer is back from injury too and is expected to take the place of teenage defender Dan-Axel Zagadou at left back.

Freiburg are used to being written off and surviving against the odds but they struggled to cope with a second half onslaught at Leipzig in their second game of the season. Midfielder Niclas Höfler was sent off, so he’ll miss this weekend’s game through suspension. Key defender Marc-Oliver Kempf being ruled out for a month with injury isn’t great timing either with Dortmund coming to town.

Still, they did go in front at Leipzig with Florian Niederlechner scoring his first of the season. He’s the man Dortmund need to be most wary of at the back. No player too in Bundesliga history has managed more goals coming off the bench than Nils Petersen but injury might keep him out of the squad in this one.

However, Dortmund pinched Freiburg’s best attacking talent in the summer in Maximilian Philipp. He’s made a reasonable start to life in the Ruhrgebiet but it’s Christian Pulisic and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who have really caught the eye in Dortmund’s attacking trio. Freiburg’s inauspicious start to the season suggests a couple of goals may be on the cards for the visitors on Saturday.

  • Score prediction: Freiburg 0, Dortmund 3 (10.0, Unibet)
  • First goal prediction: Maximilian Philipp of Dortmund (5.50, Unibet)
  • Safe bet: Dortmund to score over 2.5 goals (2.38, Unibet)

Hoffenheim v Bayern Munich, Saturday 5.30pm

This Saturday pits the Bundesliga’s youngest coach against its’ oldest, as Julian Nagelsmann takes on Carlo Ancelotti. It was a duel that Nagelsmann came out on top in last season, with Hoffenheim claiming a point at the Allianz Arena before winning 1-0 in Sinsheim back in April.

Since that game, two of Hoffenheim’s most influential players (Niklas Süle and Sebastian Rudy) have both made their way to Bayern and are likely to start on Saturday evening.

David Alaba, however, was injured on international duty for Austria, meaning that, coupled with Juan Bernat’s injury, leaves Bayern looking a little short at left back. Rafinha is likely to deputise but James Rodriguez is likely to make the bench for the first time in the Bundesliga.

The champions didn’t look all that inspiring in their 2-0 victory over Werder Bremen just under a fortnight ago but Robert Lewandowski proved his value once again by taking his chances when they eventually came.

Hoffenheim themselves didn’t impress for long spells in their 2-2 draw away at Bayer Leverkusen. Bayern loanee Serge Gnabry will miss the game against his parent club through injury. Expect Hoffe to raise their game on Saturday evening and cause Bayern problems. Yet such is the way Robert Lewandowski has started the season, it’s difficult not to see him scoring again here.

  • Score prediction: Hoffenheim 1, Bayern 2 (8.50, Unibet)
  • First goal prediction: Robert Lewandoski of Bayern (3.30, Unibet)
  • Safe bet: Over 2.5 goals (1.41, Unibet)

Hertha Berlin v Werder Bremen, Sunday 2.30pm

Hertha’s away form throughout 2017 has been pretty dire, so it was no surprise to see them go down 2-0 at Borussia Dortmund before the international break. Coach Pal Dardai described it as a deserved win for the home side, saying that their plan to try and deny Dortmund space in the first half hadn’t worked.

The emphasis will be back on Hertha to take the initiative on Sunday. That’s not something Dardai’s side struggled with in the Bundesliga last season, with their home form being the foundation of an eventual sixth place finish.

Werder Bremen’s game plan at the Olympiastadion might not shift too drastically from their previous game against Bayern Munich. As coach Alexander Nouri pointed out, they defended very well up until the 70th minute. Then Robert Lewandowski snuck in twice to kill the game in Bayern’s favour. Going forward, Werder got into good positions on the counter but the final pass was lacking.

They’ve lost both of their games so far this season but the performances have been better than the points tally. Nouri’s side won 1-0 at Hertha last season with a convincing performance. Max Kruse starred with the winner then and he’ll be counted on up front again to come up with Werder’s first goal of the campaign. Hertha’s disciplined approach make them a difficult side to beat in Berlin, meaning this may not be the most entertaining game but it’s still worth backing both sides to score.

  • Score prediction: Hertha Berlin 2, Werder Bremen 1 (8.50, Unibet)
  • First goal prediction: Vedad Ibisevic (4.40, Unibet)
  • Safe bet: Both teams to score (1.71 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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