Bundesliga Tips: Kohfeldt to have teething trouble

Wolfsburg coach Florian Kohfeldt
Florian Kohfeldt is the new coach of Wolfsburg

After making another profit last weekend, Kevin Hatchard's back with three more Bundesliga picks.

"Wolfsburg have been uncharacteristically fragile at the back, and Florian Kohfeldt isn't a defensive coach by nature."

Back Bayer Leverkusen to score over 1.5 goals at 1.910/11

Kohfeldt will take a while to wrangle Wolves

Bayer Leverkusen v Wolfsburg
Saturday 30 October, 14:30
Live on Betfair Live Video

When the axe fell, it was swung with conviction. Wolfsburg's sport CEO Jörg Schmadtke decided that Mark van Bommel wasn't the right man to lead the team forward, and within days of the Dutchman's removal, former Werder Bremen boss Florian Kohfeldt had been hired as his replacement.

Van Bommel's dismissal may seem harsh an a little premature, but he inherited a strong squad with a defined playing style, and in the first few weeks the decision not to tinker paid dividends. Wolfsburg won their first four league matches, and topped the table. However, van Bommel then attempted to bed down his possession style, and a run of eight competitive games without a win showed that process wasn't working. The team stopped scoring goals, and the defensive fortitude that the Wolves had become famed for started to erode. Van Bommel had made a dreadful start, with a litany of defeats in pre-season, and his catastrophic decision to make too many substitutions in the DFB Cup (Wolfsburg were later thrown out of the competition) seriously damaged his credibility.

His successor also has a credibility issue, having taken Werder Bremen down to Bundesliga 2. Kohfeldt is a former German Coach of the Year though, and his reputation as a talented tactician has endured. At Werder, he was hamstrung by appalling squad-building, injury problems and a squad of players that collectively underperformed. Of course, Kohfeldt has to partially carry the can for a such a failure, but I believe there were mitigating circumstances, and he can thrive with better players at his disposal.

However, that process of adjustment may take a while, and Kohfeldt is by nature a coach that likes to attack. A trip to wounded Bayer Leverkusen makes for a difficult opener. Bayer were smashed 5-1 by Bayern, blew a 2-0 lead in the Rhineland derby at Köln (the game ended 2-2) and in midweek they suffered a humiliating home defeat against lower-league Karlsruhe in the DFB Cup. This squad needs to prove it has the mental strength to cope with setbacks.

Bayer do have the quality to bounce back, and despite the loss of Patrik Schick to injury, Lucas Alario is a good deputy, and both Florian Wirtz and Moussa Diaby can supply the ammunition. Bayer have scored at least twice in nine of their 14 competitive games this term, and they can find the net at least twice here against a Wolfsburg side that has leaked 12 goals in nine league matches.

I'll back Bayer to score Over 1.5 Goals here at 1.84/5.

Arminia can spring a surprise

Arminia Bielefeld v Mainz
Saturday 30 October, 14:30
Live on Betfair Live Video

I tipped Arminia Bielefeld for relegation before the season started, and they are yet to pick up a win in the league this term. Last Saturday they were outclassed by Borussia Dortmund in a 3-1 defeat, as Mats Hummels and Jude Bellingham both came up with spectacular goals. Goalscoring has been the biggest problem for Frank Kramer's men - they have only found the net five times in nine league matches, and they have a desperate absence of creativity.

That said, they know how to scrap. They are high on the list when it comes to intensive runs, tackles and aerial challenges, and this battle with Mainz is one they might relish. Mainz have made big strides under Bo Svensson, and they smashed Augsburg last weekend. However, they have lost four times already, and they have been beaten in three of their last four Bundesliga away matches. In midweek they faced Arminia in the DFB Cup, and they were pushed all the way before eventually winning 3-2 after extra time.

I think this game will be a lot more cautious, and I believe that Arminia can avoid defeat. Kramer's men have lost to Bayer, Dortmund, Union Berlin and Borussia Mönchengladbach this term, and all of those sides finished in the top eight last season. They have drawn with Greuther Furth, Augsburg, Eintracht Frankfurt, Freiburg and Hoffenheim, and all of those matches were below the 2.5 goals line.

You could use the Sportsbook's Bet Builder here to back Arminia/Draw Double Chance and Under 3.5 Goals at 2.0421/20, but I'll keep things simple and back the hosts +0.5 on the Asian Handicap at 1.865/6. If Mainz don't win, we win.

Buzzing Breel can strike again

Borussia Mönchengladbach v Bochum
Sunday October 31, 16:30
Live on Betfair Live Video

In one of the most remarkable results in German football history, Borussia Mönchengladbach wiped the floor with a full-strength Bayern Munich on Wednesday in a 5-0 DFB Cup win, handing the Bavarians their biggest ever defeat in the competition. Gladbach played with speed, flair and composure, with bustling Swiss striker Breel Embolo producing one of his best ever displays for the club.

Embolo teed up Manu Kone for the second-minute opener, he was involved in the move that led to the second goal on 15 minutes, he won a penalty six minutes later, and scored the fourth and fifth goals himself. When Embolo is in that kind of mood, he is unstoppable, as the Bayern defence discovered to its cost.

Against a Bochum team that conceded seven goals against Bayern earlier this season, and that has leaked 16 goals in total, I'm happy to back Embolo to do some damage again. You can back him to score at any time at 2.35/4 on the Sportsbook.

Kevin Hatchard 2021-22 Bundesliga P/L

Points Staked: 25
Points Returned: 37.45
P/L: +12.45 points


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