The Bundesliga returns with five fixtures on Saturday which includes Bayern Munich. Tom Carnduff picks out three best bets.
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Bayern Munich v Fortuna Dusseldorf
Bayern Munich are closing in on yet another Bundesliga title. That victory over Dortmund has put them well clear in the race for top spot; Joshua Kimmich's goal carried far more importance than the simple three points that it provided.
This game is fancied to be a straightforward affair. They could perhaps count themselves lucky that Dortmund didn't capitalise on one of the many first-half chances that they created; the 4/6 price on Bayern -2 shows that the same shouldn't apply here.
The Asian Handicap has Bayern at -3 while the total line stands at 4. The hosts are expected to win and in comfortable fashion. We've already seen Bayern hit six goals past teams on multiple occasions this season and this game could be another one that hits that category.
Robert Lewandowski's anytime goalscorer odds stand at 1/5, while Thomas Muller, Serge Gnabry and Ivan Perisic are all floating around the even money mark. Instead, it's worth backing the 13/5 best price on Leon Goretzka netting in what should be a convincing home win.
The midfielder scored in their last home game, a 5-2 thriller against Eintracht Frankfurt, and has firmly established himself as a key part of the Bayern midfield alongside Thiago and Joshua Kimmich. Crucially, he's also posted two shots in each of his three games since the winter break.
That's actually below his season average of 3.0 switching between the attacking midfield and more central roles. Even in a defensive position alongside Kimmich over the past two games, he's still had opportunities to score of which he has done.
It's always difficult to find real value in Bayern's home fixtures, particularly against the teams who struggle at the bottom-end of the division. In Goretzka though, there's a price available that perhaps should be a tad shorter in the context of the game.
The chasing pack needs a collapse when this Bayern team aren't even stuttering. Hansi Flick's presence as head coach has completely transformed the Bavarian side's fortunes and they are playing with a real confidence that makes it difficult to see any team stop them; let alone a Dusseldorf side who are battling to avoid the drop.
You have to go to -3 on the handicap to get Bayern at an odds-against price. The same can be said for over 4.5 goals, which indicates that the net is likely to be struck on multiple occasions.
Rather than take the shorter prices elsewhere, it's worth backing Goretzka to be among the long list of players filling the Bayern side of the scoresheet.
Score prediction: Bayern Munich 5-0 Fortuna Dusseldorf (Sky Bet odds: 10/1)
Best bet: Leon Goretzka to score anytime at 13/5
EXCLUSIVE SPORTING LIFE PRICE BOOST: Joshua Kimmich to score anytime - now 9/2
Hertha Berlin v Augsburg
Those who had a read of my Saturday review last week would have seen that I mentioned the real potential in backing Hertha Berlin on the double chance away at RB Leipzig. After watching Leipzig on Sunday I then talked myself out of it as they were so dominant against Mainz - what an idiot.
They continued their impressive showings under Bruno Labbadia with a 2-2 draw away at the top-four club. It took their goalscoring tally to nine since the break and they'll fancy their chances for more against an Augsburg side that will now be looking over their shoulder.
Their draw with Paderborn, combined with Fortuna Dusseldorf's win against Schalke, has left them four points above the bottom-three. Augsburg may also have seen success against Schalke last weekend, but the fact that the Sporting Life office team could give David Wagner's men a run for their money at the moment shows their current problems.
The return of live football has brought enjoyment to many, myself included, and Hertha Berlin have delivered on every chance we've had to watch them. I've had the pleasure of watching two of their three games as they happened, returning to the 3-0 victory over Hoffenheim a day after, and you'll struggle to find a neutral who has nothing but positives to say on this team.
They've seemingly hit the right formula under Labbadia's guidance, combined with big spending in the transfer market. Hertha have an exciting team intent on attack. Against Leipzig on Wednesday night, you'd believe it was Hertha who were the side looking to secure a Champions League spot.
The hosts sitting at shades of odds-on, 10/11 in most places, makes them one of the best bets of Saturday's action. The Asian Handicap at -0.5 in Hertha's favour also indicates that the money is behind a home win. Backing a Hertha win with goals in the match more than doubles the available price though and it seems a logical decision based on recent showings.
We've already mentioned the number of goals scored and had it not been for a goalkeeper error they would have potentially secured all three points in Leipzig. Hertha's attack, with the eye-catching Matheus Cunha calling the shots, are proving difficult for most sides to keep out.
They did take a battering in a surprisingly physical game against Leipzig but Marvin Plattenhardt is the only member of the side who started the game that could miss out here through injury. Apart from that, we should expect to see a similar looking line-up to the one that has been preferred by Labbadia since his April arrival.
There's little to suggest that Hertha's strength in attack will disappear on Saturday, particularly against an Augsburg side who have struggled this side of the winter break. The hosts are regularly passing the tests that are coming their way and will be hopeful of finishing as close to the top-six as possible - although the likelihood of securing Europa League football seems that bit too much based on the points difference.
This is the go-to game on Saturday with the home side expected to provide the entertainment once again. Much has been made of the away teams benefitting from no fans in attendance, but Hertha have already proven that it isn't a problem for them at the Olympiastadion.
Score prediction: Hertha Berlin 3-0 Augsburg (Sky Bet odds: 16/1)
Wolfsburg v Eintracht Frankfurt
Wolfsburg certainly caught the eye as they eased past an in-form Bayer Leverkusen side on Tuesday night. Bayern Munich's 1-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund earlier in the day took away some of the attention from their performance and the result but it was a more than impressive showing.
Their results from February onwards have helped to put them in the driving seat when it comes to securing a top-six finish; Wolfsburg's 2-0 defeat to Dortmund being the only time they have failed to pick up points since a 2-1 home defeat to Hertha Berlin in January.
The money is behind another Wolfsburg victory with the Asian Handicap having them at -0.5 currently. That has placed them at an odds-on price of 10/11 across the board that they secure all three points on offer. Based on that showing against Leverkusen, it's difficult to argue against them doing just that.
Taking a home win with goals, in similar fashion to the Hertha game, throws up a price of just below 2/1 but the real value comes in the goalscorer market and backing Maximilian Arnold to net anytime at a price of 5/1. He did that by scoring a free-kick in their last outing.
The Wolfsburg captain has been a key part of this side in all areas netting five goals and assisting a further eleven across all competitions. Arnold's 12 shots across their last five outings suggests that he could have perhaps had more.
Two shots per game has been his average across the course of the season and a threat at set-pieces has proven problematic for opposition defences - both direct and indirect. Crucially, two of his four goals have been the decisive one in the outcome of a game.
The stats market suggests that he's fancied to have more opportunities on goal. It's an odds-on 5/6 price that Arnold hits at least one shot on target in this contest, while two gives a price of 4/1.
Rather than delve into those stats markets, it's worth taking the big odds on a goal anytime. Another point to consider is that despite teams being able to make five substitutions, Arnold has played the full 90 minutes in each of their last three games.
This is a game where it's worth backing the home team for success. We've seen more from them than we have from Frankfurt since the break and the fact they are now two points above the relegation places highlights their current problems. The loss of their influential attacking duo last summer has hit them hard.
Wolfsburg are well placed to continue to pile on the misery on Saturday in a game where Arnold will have opportunities to get himself onto the scoresheet.
Score prediction: Wolfsburg 2-1 Eintracht Frankfurt (Sky Bet odds: 15/2)
Odds correct at 1230 BST (28/05/20)
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