Signal Iduna Park
After last week’s display against RB Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund are cruising atop the Bundesliga, six points clear of ‘Deutscher Meisters’ Bayern. This week sees, relegation candidates, Hannover visit the Signal Iduna Park.
A visit which will prove to be a tough trip as BVB are the highest scoring Bundesliga club this season and Hannover’s defence is one of the worst in the League. Hannover have not enjoyed their travels of late having been unable to avoid losing in the last 10 away games. Although remarkably, given Hannover’s poor current form, they have only failed to score once in nine away matches, a stat which coach, Breitenreiter, will cling to if his team would have any hope in this tie.
Favre’s Dortmund side have produced some attacking masterclasses this season, notching 45 goals in this campaign already. However their frailties lie in their defence as they have only been able to chalk up one clean sheet in six matches, which was gained last week in their 1-0 victory over Leipzig. Despite finding difficulty keeping goals out this season, Dortmund have turned the Signal Iduna Park into a fortress, mounting the joint highest amount of home wins this season (eight).
Dortmund will be without defenders: Toprak and Akanji who were injured during the winter break. Whereas the visitors have been rocked by a number of notable absentees from their squad. With Haraguchi away with Japan in the Asian Cup, there are a few doubtful players who miss out on the Dortmund match including Felipe through illness and Sorg through a back injury sustained in the last match. Fullkrup, Prib and Walace remain out with long term injuries.
Borussia Dortmund to win over 2.5 Goals
Both sides come into this off of 3-1 defeats last weekend, each team will be looking to find their first victory of 2019. The two Bundesliga sides, are both languishing in mid-table, with only Hoffenheim with any prospect of moving into notable league positions with a win.
Freiburg’s inconsistencies have been their downfall this season, as Christian Streich’s men have drew seven and lost six games this season, their last win coming just before the winter break against Nurnberg.
Separating the two sides would be Hoffenheim’s ability to score, as the Hoffe have only failed to score once in the Bundesliga, despite the same can be said about Freiburg, who have often been able to score in the games which have seen them draw, Hoffenheim’s attack have more quality on show with Kramaric being a thorn in the Home team’s side.
Although Hoffenheim’s failures to keep a cleansheet whilst on the road this campaign, has hampered Nagelsmann’s side this season.
Both sides are awaiting news on players returning from injury. Freiburg are waiting on Christian Gunter who was injured during the winter break and Hoffenheim’s loan winger, Reiss Nelson, is to undergo late fitness checks to allow him to play.
Both Teams To Score – Favouring a Hoffenheim win
Last week spelled the end of Wolfsburg’s six game unbeaten streak in the league, as they ran out 2-1 losers to Schalke. This has dealt the home side’s hopes of Europe a blow. Although Leverkusen’s hopes were also dealt damage as they too lost their opener of 2019 against Gladbach.
In the form tables both clubs lie in similar positions, but for either to get the upper hand it will come down to utlilising their prolific goalscorers: Weghorst (Wolfsburg) and Lucas Alario. Both players have been instrumental in allowing their club’s gain momentum in the league and to build a streak of over five games on the bounce before being defeated last week.
Goals will be a factor in this game as both clubs had been on a streak scoring in each of their games since early November. On average the two teams score around 3 goals per game over the season.
Despite their streak being broken last weekend, it is likely that this will be a statistical anomaly, and would expect Bayer Leverkusen to be amongst the goals once more.
In terms of injury concerns, Wolfsburg will likely be without Guilavogui this week who picked up an injury in the winter break and missed the Schalke match. Apart from this there are no fresh injury concerns for either team.
Expecting Goals – BTTS – Over 2.5 Goals
As the ‘Deustcher Meisters’ look to close the growing gap between Bundesliga rivals Dortmund, Bayern will be looking to make light work of their Bavarian counterparts, Stuttgart, this Sunday.
Being in rampant scoring form, Bayern go into this game off the back of a 3-1 win at Hoffenheim and boast a stat of scoring three or more goals in their last ten matches, and have scored in each of their last eleven matches. However their lack clean sheets could pose a way in for Weinzierl’s Stuttgart.
Despite a small potential for an upset, relegation candidates, Stuttgart, are unlikely to mount one on such a strong side. Stuttgart have failed to score on four occasions in five away matches. They have won only one out of their last five league games.
Going into this the only fresh injury doubt for both sides in Serge Gnabry.
Bayern Munich To Win Handicap -2
Last week’s away defeat to the hands of league leaders, Borussia Dortmund, continued Leipzig’s inconsistent results recently. Dusseldorf’s winter break couldn’t have cam at a worse time, as they were putting together a decent run of results which hoisted the side away from relegation and allowed their fans to celebrate a shock victory over Dortmund.
Having won their last four out of five games, Dusseldorf go into this off the back of win at Augsburg and in great form. The home side have shown they can handle the ‘bigger teams’ and shown they can score having accumulated eight goals in five games.
Adversely for Leipzig, the side have been particularly poor on the road losing four out of their eight games played. The only stats they can cling to is the form of their star striker Timo Werner, who if they keep this January, will be vital in their assuring a Champions League spot this season, with five goals in his last six games, Werner will be essential for Rangnick to build up momentum in the league.
It is likely that this will be a scoring match with both teams averaging over 2.5 goals per match, through the scoring of goals and with the lack of clean sheets in both side’s last six matches.
Missing in action will be the Leipzig attacker who was injured in the 3-2 win over Wolfsburg in December and Upamecano who picked up a knock in the match with BVB. For Dusseldorf, the defender Jean Zimmer and midfielder Marcel Sobottka are the only two absentees for the home side.
RB Leipzig Double Chance