Well, if anything about the Bundesliga is remotely predictable, it’s that my picks of matches are almost always awful.
MatchBundesliga Match Day 12 picks reverted to their normal state of “why do you keep doing this to yourself?” Just two picks correct out of the nine matches — my all-time worst match day to date.
I have to believe I will get fewer than that correct one of these weekends.
Hopefully, though, I will instead use a hot run in November to scale back toward the mediocrity of .500, even if I’d then be trying to downplay everything that happened before and bragging about my November proficiency.
So let’s begin . . .
Friday, November 6
Hertha BSC (pk.) over Hannover 96
I’ll admit I was wrong to take Hertha against Mönchengladbach. Die Fohlen are simply on fire right now and were too much for Pal Dardai’s otherwise-reliable club.
I also was wrong to believe in the HSV. As typical, the HSV failed to fully take advantage of their dominance over the first hour of the match. Hence, when Effe Bech’s dive put Hiroshi Kiyotake at the spot, it was for an equalizer rather than just cutting into a significant lead.
I don’t think I was wrong on Hannover, though. I remain confident that are going to finish bottom three, even as they steadily distance themselves from the table’s bottom and look less likely to repeat that five-match run of losses from early on.
I’ll repeat my admiration for what Dardai has done in Berlin and believe he’ll find a way for his guys to get three on the road, where they’ve been very solid against lower-table sides.
FC Bayern Münchem (-2½) over VfB Stuttgart
Stuttgart coach Alexander Zorniger says he will be trying to attack Bayer rather than just defend them for 90 minutes, because defending for 90 minutes is something the VfB coach says his team simply “can’t do.”
I can’t help but wonder if Zorniger watched Bayern’s match against Arsenal and realized that all the defense in the world might not help anyway, considering the way Douglas Costa mishit a shot right to Thomas Müller, who then had his shot go off Per Mertesacker’s knee and into goal.
Of course, Frankfurt showed last Friday that keeping Bayern off the scoresheet is actually possible. Zorniger just knows his team too well to think that might get Stuttgart a point here.
Between Bayern’s form and Zorniger maybe playing a wide-open game, this might actually inspire me to make a real bet. Okay, not really, but maybe I’ll watch the carnage.
Borussia Mönchengladbach (-½) over FC Ingolstadt
Both of these clubs have a way of proving me wrong on a regular basis, which would leave a draw as the closest thing to eliminating the possibility of getting it wrong.
Die Fohlen are just so good right now that it apparently will take a supernatural hex to get them to drop points and/or for Andre Schubert to ever lose a Bundesliga match.
Hence, REVERSE-JINX! Die Fohlen win this one, easily!
1. FC Köln (+1) over Bayer Leverkusen
Picking against Bayer Leverkusen seems to be among the few things that lead to success for me.
Even though picking my club has often resulted in failure, I maintain that Bayer’s reputation is far more dangerous than their actual team right now. They do look like they might explode for a half-dozen goals at any time, though. I’ll just be hoping it isn’t this weekend.
Eintracht Frankfurt (-½) over Hoffenheim
Here’s the list of teams Hoffenheim have beaten this season: FC Augsburg.
That’s it! That’s the list!
Perhaps Eintracht will suffer somewhat from a let-down playing against a bottom-two team a week after becoming the first to take a point from Bayern. With Hoffenheim’s new defensive priorities and Frankfurt having already going scoreless in three of their away matches this season, there certainly are some good reasons to suspect Hoffenheim might get their second win of the season.
There just aren’t enough of them for me.
VfL Wolfsburg (-½) over Mainz 05
Before beating Darmstadt 0:1 a few weeks ago, Wolfsburg had dropped points in all four of their away matches this season.
Mainz, though, have conceded eight goals between their last three home games, while scoring just once. It’ll take more than a Yoshinori Muto hat trick against a poor Augsburg side to make me think Mainz can hang with the Wolves.
Darmstadt 98 (pk.) over Hamburger SV
Hamburg, you annoy me.
Darmstadt, I find you charming.
And you know about Heller being schneller already, don’t you.
Die Lillien have lost three of their last four, but there’s almost nothing worse about doing these picks than putting faith in a bad team like Hamburg and then getting burned by them, making it clear you should have known better.
Besides, how are Hamburg going to get into the relegation playoff if they keep taking points?
Sunday, November 8
Borussia Dortmund (-1½) over FC Schalke 04
A goal-point-five feels like a LOT to lay to a quality side like Schalke, doesn’t it? I know my gut reaction was to take it and hope for a close, exciting Revierderby.
Then I remembered that the BVB have won eight times already this season and won each of them by two goals or more.
Schalke has lost just thrice, but each loss has been by two or three goals.
And because I do expect the BVB to win this one at home . . .
FC Augsburg (-½) over Werder Bremen
Bremen have lost six of their last seven and scored just three goals total in those losses. Only Ingolstadt and Hamburg have scored fewer goals than Bremen’s eleven.
Werder is having an awful season, without question.
But whose worse than Augsburg? The table right now would tell you “nobody,” but the fact is that right this moment, it might be Werder Bremen.
The FCA seemed a bit unfortunate to take only a point last week after largely outplaying Mainz. That misfortune may have inspired them in Thursday’s decisive win in Europa League over AZ Alkmaar. Can that run be extended to their third home match in eight days to beat Werder Bremen.
I’m not as sure as I feel like I should be considering all the things I’ve just cited. Yet, I’m rolling with Markus Weinzierl. If that guy has done nothing else in his career the last few years, it’s been showing everyone that you’re almost always wrong when you start to count his side out.
Last Week: 2-7
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