It could be a title-deciding game in the Bundesliga as Leipzig welcome Bayern Munich. Tom Carnduff has found three best bets.
0.5pts e.w. Lucas Hernandez to score first at 80/1 (Sky Bet) (e.w. terms 1/3 1-99)
1pt e.w. Leon Goretzka to score first at 16/1 (bet365) (e.w. terms 1/3 1-99)
1pt Kingsley Coman to score anytime at 43/10 (SBK)
While there are eight games remaining of the Bundesliga season, this result could decide the title with Bayern sitting four points clear of RB Leipzig at the top of the table. An away win will send them well on their way to yet another trophy.
The significance of this game is clear, but it is heightened by the fact that there are key figures missing on both sides. Alphonso Davies is suspended for Bayern, while the prolific Robert Lewandowski is out with an injury picked up during the international break with Poland.
Leipzig are still without the likes of Angelino, Konrad Laimer and Dominik Szoboszlai, while Dayot Upamecano remains an injury doubt. There is more pressure on the hosts given the current four-point gap and, even with their own absentees, they will be boosted by those missing on the other side.
It's always brave opposing Lewandowski in the first goalscorer market. Value is always on offer, but the Bayern striker is often the one grabbing the goals. He has 35 this season and was well on his way to breaking Gerd Muller's 40 goals in a Bundesliga season before the injury.
Lewandowski is out for four weeks, although he's hoping for a return in time for the second leg of their Champions League tie against PSG. It presents Hansi Flick with a major selection dilemma, and while Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting would be the obvious choice, they may well look to go with more of a false nine instead.
Thomas Muller's performances from attacking midfield should see him stay there, and rather than back Choupo-Moting at a short 2/1 or lower for a goal anytime, I'm willing to gamble on someone like Serge Gnabry taking the central role which could mean a start for KINGSLEY COMAN. He's had direct involvement in 19 goals in 26 games across all competitions this season.
He can play on either wing and the hope here is that Gnabry moves to free up the left-wing role for him to play in. Gnabry has been a secondary striker to Lewandowski on a couple of occasions, while also holding the centre forward role in a cup game. Flick clearly sees this as a position he can play in.
There is also the possibility of Coman playing as a striker but that seems less likely. What makes the above 4/1 price on a Coman goal anytime attractive is the fact that he's had at least one shot in each of his last 11 Bundesliga appearances.
Six of those games saw two or more, while he went on a four-game run throughout February with at least three shots in each. 41 shots across 21 league games this season highlight why he should have more than the three goals on his tally.
No Lewandowski really does open up the first goalscorer market, and it's a surprise to see that the prices haven't seemingly taken the Bayern striker's absence into account. Prices elsewhere remain the same as if Lewandowski was involved and that provides some great value.
The first of which is the huge 80/1 on offer for LUCAS HERNANDEZ to score the first goal. He should be involved given Davies' suspension and will likely be the left-back here. Hernandez delivered a 22/1 winning goalscorer tip in the Champions League and I'm willing to stick with him again for the trip to Leipzig.
He's not a prolific shot taker, and that's worth noting, but the attacking intent of Bayern's full-backs could present an opportunity to strike in this game. The fact that Hernandez has two assists on his tally, despite being a centre-back playing out on the left, highlights this.
While Benjamin Pavard is likely to be the more attacking of the two full-backs, I'd still expect to see Hernandez in and around the box when Bayern attack. There is also the added presence at set-piece situations. It's a value play, but one that has landed this season, and the each-way price coming out at above 26/1 for a goal anytime is too big given his position on the pitch.
A player that I also often look to when discussing Bayern or Germany is LEON GORETZKA. It's a tip that does get repeated but the price is always too big. His first goalscorer odds of 16/1 are priced on the basis that he's a defensive midfielder but he provides such a threat in front of goal.
Goretzka delivered an anytime goalscorer winner at odds of 6/1 in the game against Dortmund, that being the each-way price on a first goalscorer tip, and his goalscoring run didn't end there. Since that preview, he netted first against Bremen and then scored the opener for Germany in their 3-0 win over Iceland last week.
The goal against Dortmund was actually rare in that it came late in the game. When he scores, it tends to be the first or second goal of the game - he has seven on his tally across all competitions for Bayern this season.
Goretzka's on a nine-game run of having at least one shot in the Bundesliga with seven of those games seeing two or more. Across the course of the league campaign, he's taken a total of 35 shots which more than demonstrates his presence in attack.
The big question is surrounding Bayern and how they will cope without Lewandowski. Recent history has shown though that they can get by and win games without him up front. That said, those games have been ones where they are largely expected to secure victory in.
With Bayern, a striker as good as Lewandowski can always dig them out of a hole too. If they are struggling, he'll find a way to come up with a couple of goals and win the game. Although, with the strength of this Bayern side, they should be able to adjust without him.
Leipzig/Bayern games have been fascinating in recent seasons. Four of the last five have resulted in the points being shared and the games have often seen periods of attacking dominance for both sides. Bayern being -0.25 on the Asian Handicap shows that the money is unsure on the result too.
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It's why the outright result is one to be avoided, but we can't ignore the fact that Leipzig have failed to win any of the last six meetings between the two. The only time they have beaten them, Naby Keita and Timo Werner were on the scoresheet in March 2018 and James Rodriguez got the assist on the Bayern goal.
Even in the 0-0 draw last season, the combined xG of both teams was 2.59 and the meeting earlier this season ended in a 3-3 draw. While there is some small temptation to take Bayern's 11/8 price on victory, I would wager on the over 3.5 goals line if we were searching for an outright market.
Instead though, Lewandowski's absence provides good value in the goalscorer market and it's worth taking COMAN, GORETZKA and HERNANDEZ to be involved at big odds.
Score prediction: RB Leipzig 2-2 Bayern Munich (Sky Bet odds: 9/1)
Odds correct at 11:30 BST (01/04/21)
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