Borussia Dortmund hope to keep their Bundesliga title prospects alive when they face a tricky trip to Wolfsburg on Saturday afternoon. Mark O'Haire analyses the odds...
"BVB do appear a little skinny in the pre-match markets considering they’ve returned just a 50% win record on the road under Lucien Favre in the Bundesliga, including only five wins from 14 top-half teams"
Wolfsburg v Borussia Dortmund
Saturday May 23, 14:30
BT Sport and Betfair Live Video
Wolfsburg extend unbeaten streak
Wolfsburg made a winning return to Bundesliga action last weekend. Oliver Glasner's group were 2-1 winners at Augsburg with returning substitute Daniel Ginczek grabbing the decisive goal in stoppage-time following a marauding run down the right-hand side from full-back Kevin Mbabu. The victory consolidated Die Wolfe in sixth spot in the standings.
The Volkswagen-backed club are now unbeaten since January (W4-D3-L0) and are scoring freely. Wolfsburg have notched 18 goals across their nine Rückrunde matches, as many as they managed across the whole of the Hinrunde, with Renato Steffen scoring five times in 2020. The hosts also welcome top goalscorer Wout Weghorst back from suspension here.
Glasner was quietly confident with his team's efforts in Augsburg and will be looking forward to Saturday contest with a plethora of attacking options available to him. However, neither club captain Josuha Guilavogui or Yannick Gerhardt will be fit to return, suggesting minimal changes to the starting XI will be made as Wolfsburg aim for back-to-back wins.
Dortmund deliver dominant derby win
Despite the absence of skipper Marco Reus, English starlet Jadon Sancho, midfield generals Axel Witsel and Emre Can, plus the late withdrawal of Gio Reyna, Dortmund put on a dominant display against their bitter Revier rivals Schalke, running out convincing 4-0 winners in front of an empty Westfalenstadion. It was their biggest derby win since 1966.
Erling Haaland scored his 10th Bundesliga goal in just nine games since his arrival from Red Bull Salzburg in January, while left-back Raphael Guerreiro scored his third and fourth goals in his last seven league games, and Julian Brandt produced an inspired two-assist performance in Sancho's stead. BVB were ruthless without stepping out of second gear.
Head coach Lucien Favre is hoping to have Sancho back in the starting XI for Saturday's trip to the Volkswagen Arena, whilst Can is also back fit and in contention. Both Mahmoud Dahoud and Thomas Delaney are likely to drop out to allow the duo to return, with Thorgan Hazard expected to keep his place in the side after an inspirational display against Schalke.
Visitors too skinny to support?
Wolfsburg boast a rotten recent record against Dortmund. Die Wolfe have earned a solitary point from their last nine Bundesliga battles against BVB (W0-D1-L8) and have been beaten in each of their last four fixtures against Die Schwarzgelben at the Volkswagen Arena by an aggregate scoreline of 11-2. The hosts haven't even scored in the last six head-to-heads.
Wolfsburg [4.90] have been labelled as the Bundesliga's most boring but Oliver Glasner's troops are capable of producing effective and efficient displays. This functional rather than flashy outfit have limited Leipzig, Gladbach and Leverkusen to an average of just 0.63 Expected Goals (xG) from open play here and know how to frustrate the league's elite.
Dortmund [1.78] have taken 24 of a possible 27 points in the Rückrunde (W8-D0-L1), scoring a club record 31 goals in that nine-game sample. Even so, BVB do appear a little skinny in the pre-match markets considering they've returned just a 50% win record on the road under Lucien Favre in the Bundesliga, including only five wins from 14 top-half teams.
What's more, RB Leipzig went off at 2.15 in Wolfsburg's most recent home outing - a fixture that finished goalless - and therefore the market appears to have over-exaggerated the absence of home support.
Contrasting goal trends
Saturday's showdown pits together two teams with contrasting styles and goal trends. Wolfsburg's matches are the lowest-scoring in the division, as well as at the Volkswagen Arena, whilst Dortmund have seen Over 2.5 Goals [1.65] backers rewarded in all bar two of their 13 away days with eight also breaking the Over 3.5 Goals barrier.
Considering the prices available on opposing Dortmund, as well as goals, I'm happy to dip into Betfair Sportsbook's Same Game Multi offering by taking Wolfsburg in the Double Chance market alongside Under 3.5 Goals for a 3.00 shot. The hosts are smart enough not to be drawn into a straight shootout and have the necessary tools to keep Dortmund quiet.
This selection pays out at a nice price if the game ends 0-0, 1-1, 1-0, 2-0, 3-0 or 2-1 in Wolfsburg's favour. A high-scoring draw or an away success are the only results that can scupper the wager.
Mark's 2019/20 Profit/Loss
Staked: 130.00 pts
Returned: 149.99 pts
P/L: +19.99 pts