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Bundesliga Betting: Bruised Bielefeld to lose again

Bayer Leverkusen boss Peter Bosz
Peter Bosz's Leverkusen are unbeaten in the league

The Bundesliga is back with some intriguing matchups, and Kevin Hatchard has four selections this weekend.

"Arminia were crushed 5-0 at Union Berlin a fortnight ago, and their lack of quality is starting to show."

Back Bayer Leverkusen -1.0 on the Asian Handicap v Arminia Bielefeld at 1.8810/11

Sinking Arminia to struggle again

Arminia Bielefeld v Bayer Leverkusen
Saturday 21 November, 14:30
Live on Betfair Live Video

The early-season glow that all promoted sides have has washed away pretty quickly for Arminia Bielefeld. They started the campaign by collecting four points from their first two games, but they have lost five in a row since then, and their lack of quality in attack is a thorny issue.

Arminia haven't scored a single first-half goal, and they haven't netted multiple goals in any of their seven Bundesliga matches. Fabian Klos has been an outstanding club servant, and he was the second tier's top scorer last term, but he is yet to score in the Bundesliga and has been totally starved of service. The 5-0 hammering they took at Union Berlin last time out was deeply concerning.

Bayer Leverkusen are unbeaten in the top flight, and laid down a marker before the international break with an impressive 4-3 comeback win against Rhineland rivals Borussia Monchengladbach. At time of writing, Bayer haven't been unduly affected by the international break in terms of COVID-19, although midfielder Exequiel Palacios will be out for the rest of the year after the Argentinian fractured several vertebrae in a challenge with Paraguay's Angel Romero.

Arminia have lost 4-1 at home to Bayern and 2-0 at home to Borussia Dortmund, and I anticipate a similarly comfortable win here for Bayer. You can back them -1.0 on the Asian Handicap at 1.8810/11, and I think that's a sensible play.

Stuttgart can beat depleted Hoffenheim

Hoffenheim v Stuttgart
Saturday 21 November 14:30
Live on Betfair Live Video

Hoffenheim have been hit by a COVID-19 outbreak at the club, and they were so concerned by their lack of manpower that they actually requested a 24-hour postponement of this southern derby against Stuttgart. That request was denied by the DFL, so TSG have to soldier on.

Hoffenheim haven't won in the league since they thrashed Bayern Munich 4-1, and that run has largely coincided with the absence of talismanic forward Andrej Kramaric, who hasn't long recovered from COVID-19. The Croatian is expected to return to action this weekend, but that's just about the only bright spot for coach Sebastian Hoeness. Hoffenheim could be without seven senior pros against Stuttgart, including first-team regulars like Sebastian Rudy, Kevin Vogt and Munas Dabbur.

Stuttgart have no such issues, and haven't lost since Matchday One. Although they squandered a 2-0 lead in their recent 2-2 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt, they played well, and are scoring plenty of goals. Their coach Pellegrino Matarazzo knows Hoffenheim well, having been an assistant to both Julian Nagelsmann and Alfred Schreuder.

You can back Stuttgart +0 & +0.5 here on the Asian Handicap at 1.865/6, which means a draw brings you a half-win, and you get a full win if Stuttgart take all three points. VfB have won two of their three away games in the league, and are in far better shape than their opponents.

Fragile Hertha won't stop Haaland

Hertha Berlin v Borussia Dortmund
Saturday 21 November, 19:30
Live on BT Sport and Betfair Live Video

Borussia Dortmund suffered a damaging defeat in Der Klassiker, losing 3-2 to their old foes Bayern Munich. However, it was yet another game that featured a goal from their star striker Erling Haaland. The Norwegian was a doubt for this trip to Hertha after the whole Norway squad was put into quarantine during the international break, but it appears he will be able to start against Hertha.

Hertha are a talented yet deeply inconsistent side, and while I was tempted to back them to pick up a result here, I can't quite trust them. However, the one thing I can believe in is their inability to contain Haaland and company. Hertha have leaked 13 goals in seven games, and all of those matches have featured at least two goals.

Haaland has scored in each of his last five appearances for Dortmund, and he's averaging better than a goal a game for club and country this term. I'll back him to score and the match to feature two goals or more at 1.845/6 on the Sportsbook's Same Game Multi.

Goals galore in the cathedral city

Köln v Union Berlin
Sunday 22 November, 17:00
Live on BT Sport and Betfair Live Video

It's been a remarkable start to the season by Union Berlin. Inspired by mercurial forward Max Kruse's three goals and five assists across the first seven matchdays, Union have surged into the European qualification spots. No-one expects them to stay there, but they are on track to avoid the drop. Their 5-0 hammering of Arminia Bielefeld on Matchday Seven was a sign of how far they have come.

Köln haven't won since the Bundesliga returned from lockdown, and fears are growing that they could suffer yet another relegation. Given the quality that coach Markus Gisdol has at his disposal, the Billy Goats shouldn't be struggling, but they look defensively fragile. Both teams have found the net in 17 of their last 18 Bundesliga matches, and they face an Union side that has rattled in 14 goals in the last five outings.

I'm pleasantly surprised to see Over 2.5 Goals trading at evens here, and I think Köln's defensive issues make that a fair bet.

Kevin Hatchard 2020-21 P/L

Points staked: 104
Points Returned: 95.22
P/L: -8.78 points

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