22 winners from his last 26 bets on this column with a season-long ROI of 30% – Mark O’Haire gets stuck into two more fancies from Germany & Italy!
BVB BACKED AGAINST FALTERING FOALS
The Bundesliga standings may say Bayern Munich lead Borussia Dortmund by six points in the race for the Meisterschale, but everyone knows FC Hollywood will have their hands on the top prize come May.
The Bavarians are a cut above the competition, yet last weekend’s shock loss at Bochum has again opened the door to hope and desire in the BVB camp.
Dortmund – destroyed by Leverkusen at their Westfalenstadion base a fortnight ago – bounced back by overcoming an awkward Union Berlin outfit in the capital.
Die Schwarzgelben’s improved effort should give Marco Rose’s side the platform to secure back-to-back league victories, with Borussia Monchengladbach arriving in town on Sunday.
The hosts have taken top honours in nine of their 11 Bundesliga battles on home soil, with BVB racking up multiple goals in all 11 of those showdowns.
Of course, Dortmund were humbled by Rangers in the Europa League on Thursday night, but a possible return for Erling Haaland on Sunday could provide Rose’ troops with a significant boost here.
Regardless, Gladbach have endured a desperately difficult campaign.
Having spent a fortune bringing head coach Adi Hutter in from Eintracht Frankfurt, Die Fohlen have been plagued by injuries and inconsistency while also recently losing legendary sporting director Max Eberl as the club’s decline over the past year became too much to handle.
Monchengladbach arrive only four points above the relegation play-off place, having suffered six defeats in 10 since November (W2-D2-L6), a sample that includes a record-breaking 6-0 home shellacking by Freiburg. The visitors did pick up a 3-2 success at home to struggling Augsburg last time out, yet defensively Die Fohlen have major concerns.
Hutter’s troops have silenced just two Bundesliga sides all season – conceding 1.82 goals per game and giving up 1.74 Expected Goals (xG) on average.
My ratings have Gladbach amongst the bottom-half dwellers, and that’s reflected in their performances against the leading lights, losing eight of 13 fixtures against the current top-10.
Dortmund have won this fixture in 15 of the last 16 renewals, and in the majority of those most recent matches, Gladbach arrived in much ruder health. So I’m happy to oppose the underperforming away side here and support BVB alongside Over 1.5 Goals for an appealing 1.81 option – we’ll be paid out should Dortmund win by any scoreline that’s not 1-0.
INTER TO EDGE ENJOYABLE ENCOUNTER
Inter put in a brave showing against Liverpool in midweek despite defeat, and Simone Inzaghi’s side should be capable of bouncing back to winning ways when welcoming Sassuolo to San Siro on Sunday. However, the effervescent visitors can play their part in an enjoyable encounter from Serie A.
Sassuolo have been a regular feature of this column due to the Neroverdi’s attack-minded instincts and goal-heavy games.
Alessio Dionisi’s squad have scored in all bar four of their league fixtures thus far and delivered winning Both Teams To Score selections in 14 of their 15 matches against teams above them in the current standings.
The underdogs relish the big occasion, having given a clutch of leading lights plenty to ponder this campaign, whilst Sassuolo’s squad is bolstered in forward areas following the returns of both Giacomo Raspadori and Gianluca Scamacca.
However, suspension rules key defender Gian Marco Ferrari out of action, weakening an already porous rearguard.
Keeping the back door shut has been an issue for all the critical aclaim of Sassuolo’s offensive style.
The Neroverdi have silenced just two Serie A opponents and are without a clean sheet since September – hardly ideal when heading to the division’s most prolific attack.
Inter have endured a demanding recent schedule and surrendered top spot in the Scudetto race last weekend, yet Inzaghi’s outfit remain clear and obvious title favourites.
The bulk of their best work has arrived against sides outside of the league’s elite. The Nerazzurri have dropped points just once against teams in seventh and below (W14-D1-L0).
With Inter too short to support, we can boost the odds on offer by adding Both Teams To Score to the home success for an appetising 2.42 shout.
BTTS has banked in 20 of Sassuolo’s 25 tussles, Inter have conceded in 12 of 16 clashes against top-13 teams, and the hosts are weakened in defence without the suspended Alessandro Bastoni.
- Borussia Dortmund to win and Over 1.5 Goals – 2 units @ 1.81
- Inter Milan to win and Both Teams To Score – 1 units @ 2.42