Der Klassiker between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich is the main attraction this weekend, but Kevin Hatchard also has three selections from other matches.
"Leverkusen are unbeaten, but they haven't hit the heights they are capable of too often, and Gladbach appear to be in better form ahead of this Rhineland derby."
Fabulous Foals on track to beat Rhineland rivals
Bayer Leverkusen v Borussia Mönchengladbach
Sunday 08 November, 17:00
Live on BT Sport and Betfair Live Video
After failing to hold onto leads against Inter Milan and Real Madrid in a pair of 2-2 draws, there was no doubt about Borussia Mönchengladbach's win at Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League. Alassane Plea scored a superb hat-trick, as the Foals galloped to a 6-0 win. Given that Gladbach edged out RB Leipzig 1-0 at Borussia Park last weekend, it's been a fantastic few days.
Marco Rose's team looks incredibly dangerous with the ball, and is pressing ferociously and effectively without it. An eight-game unbeaten run has built confidence, and Gladbach have won three of their last four away matches, scoring at least three goals in all of those victories.
I'm baffled that Gladbach are seen as underdogs against a Bayer Leverkusen side that is unbeaten in the league but has yet to really impress. The Foals won this fixture last season, and Bayer are struggling to adapt to life after the departures of Kai Havertz and Kevin Volland. Their 4-2 win at Freiburg last weekend flattered them, and although Lucas Alario has started to stake a claim for a regular first-team spot, Die Werkself have been profligate in front of goal in most of their matches.
Gladbach are bursting with confidence, they'll have had more rest (Bayer were in in Europa League action on Thursday night) and the likes of Plea, Jonas Hofmann and Marcus Thuram are playing great football. Thuram has been rewarded for his displays with a call-up to the French national team.
I'll combine a Gladbach/Draw Double Chance bet with an Over 1.5 Goals bet on the Same Game Multi at 1.9520/21, so if the visitors avoid defeat and there are at least two goals in the match we get a winner at just shy of evens.
Union to strike again
Union Berlin v Arminia Bielefeld
Saturday 07 November, 14:30
Live on Betfair Live Video
There aren't many Bundesliga teams who simply try to shut up shop and defend, but that's what top-flight newbies Arminia Bielefeld tried to do against Borussia Dortmund last weekend. Coach Uwe Neuhaus fielded an unfamiliar back five, and showed almost no ambition in attack. Arminia's 2-0 defeat, courtesy of a Mats Hummels brace, felt inevitable from the moment Hummels touched in the opener.
Bielefeld haven't scored a single first-half goal yet this season, and they haven't netted multiple goals in any of their games. Striker and club legend Fabian Klos was the second tier's top scorer last season, but Arminia haven't been able to give him the service he needs.
Conversely, Union have been playing really well. Bad boy Max Kruse keeps getting into scrapes off the field (this week he was complaining about a speeding ticket), but on the pitch he is consistently excellent. The former Freiburg, Gladbach and Bremen forward has scored two goals and made a further three, and he has brought much-needed ingenuity to what can sometimes be a one-note attack. Union won 3-1 at Hoffenheim on Monday, and they haven't lost since Matchday One. The underlying numbers suggest Urs Fischer's team should be in the top four at this stage.
Union have won three of their last five home games in the league, and I think they're worth backing here at 1.9520/21.
Billy Goats to hit another brick wall
Werder Bremen v Köln
Friday 06 November, 19:30
Live on BT Sport and Betfair Live Video
Things are never middle-of-the-road in Cologne - it's a city that seems drawn to drama, and their football club is no exception. Last season, they were bottom in December, had a strong surge that saved them from the drop, but they haven't won a Bundesliga game since lockdown.
Coach Markus Gisdol has been spared for now, but his team has lost seven of the last ten league games, and he must be running out of chances. The Billy Goats have scored multiple goals in just one of their last 11 league games.
Werder haven't lost since Matchday One, and they thrashed Köln 6-1 on the final day of last season, a result that saw them avoid automatic relegation. Defensively, they have made a big leap forward, conceding just four goals in their last five league outings.
I'll back Werder with a bit of insurance here with the Draw No Bet market.
*You can find a preview of Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich here.
Kevin Hatchard 2020-21 P/L
Points staked: 89
Points Returned: 82.1
P/L: -6.9 points