- Mönchengladbach have lost their last 11 against Dortmund in the ‘Battle of the Borussias’
- Leverkusen look to build on midweek win over Dortmund to maintain title challenge with a game against Wolfsburg
- Read on for full odds, analysis and three best bets from this weekend’s games
Despite a couple of surprising losses this season, nine-time defending champions Bayern Munich sit four points clear at the top of the Bundesliga, and a Bundesliga Matchday 18 contest against Schalke 04, who have won just one of their last 33 Bundesliga games, is unlikely to slow their coronation.
However, below Bayern is where the real excitement is taking place, with fierce battles taking place for the remaining Champions League places. Case in point, just two points separates fourth-placed Borussia Dortmund from eighth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt, with both teams featuring in games worth watching this weekend.
Bundesliga Odds Matchday 18
|Borussia Mönchengladbach vs Borussia Dortmund||+220||+260||+115|
|Mainz 05 vs RB Leipzig||+650||+375||-250|
|Bayer Leverkusen vs VfL Wolfsburg||+106||+255||+250|
|Arminia Bielefeld vs Eintracht Frankfurt||+360||+270||-132|
|FC Augsburg vs 1. FC Union Berlin||+265||+240||+106|
|SC Freiburg vs VfB Stuttgart||+165||+275||+145|
|Hertha BSC vs Werder Bremen||+120||+235||+230|
|Schalke 04 vs Bayern Munich||+1200||+700||-590|
|TSG Hoffenheim vs 1. FC Köln||-125||+255||+360|
All odds taken Jan 22 at DraftKings
Borussia Monchengladbach vs Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Mönchengladbach are unbeaten in five games in all competitions, including that memorable 3-2 win over Bayern Munich a couple of weeks ago – just the second Bundesliga loss suffered by the champions this season.
Just one point separates seventh-placed Gladbach from fourth-placed Borussia Dortmund entering Bundesliga Matchday 18, who lost at Leverkusen on Tuesday after drawing with Mainz last weekend, to see any possible title challenge all but evaporate. The two meet on Friday, January 22 at 2:30 pm EST.
The ??̈??????? begins ??⚽#BLMatchday pic.twitter.com/MO4RmIjN0H
— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) January 22, 2021
Gladbach will receive a further boost with the return of striker Marcus Thuram, who returns following a six-game suspension and may well start alongside captain Lars Stindl, who is the team’s leading scorer with nine goals and four assists. However, he has lost 17 of the 19 games he has played against Dortmund.
? Stuttgart vs Gladbach ?
?? Wamangituka vs Stindl ??
Eight goals each make them the two top-scoring midfielders in the league. ⚽
Rookie of the Month meets Player of the Month in tonight’s Topspiel ? pic.twitter.com/EOxFcxQAGM
— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) January 16, 2021
Worse yet, Gladbach have lost the last 11 games they’ve played against Dortmund in the ‘Battle of the Borussias’ – including a 3-0 defeat at Dortmund Park earlier this season. They will also have to be wary of former Foal Marco Reus, with the Dortmund captain having scored nine goals and six assists in 13 games against his old club.
But Dortmund will also need more from star striker Erling Haaland if they are to turn around their recent fortunes. The Norwegian winner of the UEFA Golden Boy award as the best young player in Europe has just one goal in his past five Bundesliga games. However, he has two goals and one assist in two career games against Gladbach.
Pick: Draw (+260)
Arminia Bielefeld vs Eintracht Frankfurt
Arminia Bielefeld are on a roll. Having picked up 10 of the last 15 points available to them. Wednesday’s 3-0 win over VfB Stuttgart was the team’s biggest of the season so far. Their run of three games without defeat is their longest of the season and longest in the German top flight since 2009.
The reigning Bundesliga 2 champions will have their work cut out at home against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday, January 23 though in Bundesliga Matchday 18. Currently eighth in the table, Frankfurt have suffered a joint Bundesliga-low two losses this season, while managing a league-high nine draws. However, Bielefeld are the only team yet to draw at home this season.
? Adi Hütter’s pre-match presser:
“We’ve picked up 27 points and are difficult to beat, even though we’d like to draw fewer games. We need the same number of points again [in the second half of the season] if we want to finish in the European spots.” #DSCSGE #SGE pic.twitter.com/FgjCAb6L3C
— Eintracht Frankfurt (@eintracht_eng) January 22, 2021
Frankfurt talisman Luka Jovic has wasted little time since his return from Real Madrid a few weeks ago, scoring twice in last Sunday’s 3-1 win over Schalke before coming off the bench in Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with Freiburg. Jovic scored 36 goals in his first spell at the club.
Luka Jovic ? @EASPORTSFIFA Team of the Week! ??#SGE #FUT #FIFA21 #TOTW pic.twitter.com/K9iTTy02vN
— Eintracht Frankfurt (@eintracht_eng) January 21, 2021
And Frankfurt will be further steeled by its all-time record against Bielefeld. Eintracht has 11 wins, 10 draws and just six losses in 27 all-time meetings in the German top flight.
Pick: Draw (+270)
Bayer Leverkusen vs Wolfsburg
Two statistical anomalies stand out ahead of Saturday’s Bundesliga Matchday 18 fixture between third-placed Bayer Leverkusen and visiting fifth-placed VfL Wolfsburg.
First half of the season: ✅
We’re currently 04 points ahead of where we were at this point last season! pic.twitter.com/yXVH7gN0q1
— Bayer 04 Leverkusen (@bayer04_en) January 21, 2021
The first is that Leverkusen hasn’t lost any of the seven games in which forward Lucas Alario has started, winning six and drawing one, with the Argentine scoring six goals in that spell.
Tight angle? ?
?? No problem for Leverkusen’s top scorer, Lucas Alario [email protected]_en | #UEL pic.twitter.com/bJZcu6af2v
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) January 19, 2021
The second is that Leverkusen hasn’t beaten Wolfsburg at home since April 2016, drawing two and losing two since that time. In fact, neither team has beaten the other in nine straight matchups between the two sides.
But while Leverkusen comes into this game off the back of a 2-1 over Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, breaking a four-game winless run, Wolfsburg comes in on a high. The Wolves won 2-0 at Mainz on Tuesday, their third straight game in which they scored two goals.
Pick: Draw (+255)