The festive season is over, and football is ready to start again in Germany and it’s a great start – the opening fixture for this part of Bundesliga features the perennial championship candidate Bayern Munich hosting those lovable upstarts from Hoffenheim, who, despite their modest budget, keep defying the odds since coming up from “Zweite” two years ago.
The team commonly known as “FC Hollywood” hasn’t enjoyed much fortunes against the blue boys from Hoffe of late. As a reminder, Bayern’s championship chances last year took a lethal blow after a 2-2 draw at Rhein-Neckar-Arena, and this year they also contrived to drop points at the same venue, except this time the scoreboard read 1-1.
Despite all those things, it will be difficult not to forecast Bayern as a huge favourite heading into tomorrow’s match. The Bavarians will miss the mercurial Frenchman Franck Ribery running down the right flank, but Arjen Robben is fit again, and the strikeforce duo Mario Gomez – Ivica Olić is as potent as ever. Hoffenheim have some big guns of their own – Bosnian hitman Vedad Ibišević is finally reminding us of his halcyon days of late 2008 – but still Bayern has the definite edge here, especially on their own turf. Betting Bayern at 1.45 is a good pick, but the more adventurous will surely try the attractive looking 3.5 line, where “over” pays at 2.40.
The competition also resumes in Bundesliga 2, where three matches will take place. Of those, the most interesting encounter is in Berlin, with local Union playing host to the lowly Rot-Weiss Oberhausen. Union, currently ranked 7th, is somewhat of a long shot in a fiercely contested promotion battle, but the former East German side, which never attended top flight in post-Berlin Wall Germany, is still a romantic choice to enter the Bundesliga next fall. A win against Oberhausen will definitely help their chances, and odds 1.70 make for a tempting bet.