Regular readers will know that one is a fan of Leverkusen and its coach, Roger Schmidt, but one cannot believe the odds that bookmakers are offering about the Bayer-backed team losing at Hannover in the German Bundesliga.
Looking at the match betting on the German Bundesliga game at the HDI Arena one would think that Hannover is about to entertain defending champion Bayern Munchen rather than a Leverkusen side that is two points behind the 96ers on the ladder after almost one-third of the championship season.
The more one looks at the odds – Hannover is trading at odds of +290 with BetVictor – the more one thinks that bookmakers know something that the general public does not because, on face value, the 96ers should be trading odds of about +125 .
Hannover is fourth on the German Bundesliga ladder, albeit with a negative goal difference of minus two. Hannover has won four of its five German Bundesliga home games but one will acknowledge that the cream of the crop have not made their way to the HDI Arena, with the 96ers having beaten Frankfurt, Hamburg, Koln and Schalke. However, Hannover performed well at home last term – eight wins, five draws and four losses in the German Bundesliga – and it is not as though Leverkusen’s away form under Schmidt is outstanding, particularly since its unlucky UEFA Champions League defeat at Monaco when it dominated proceedings and lost 0-1.
Leverkusen beat Dortmund 2-0 on the road in the first round of the German Bundesliga but it has accrued just two points from its subsequent four league away matches – drawing at Freiburg and Stuttgart and losing at Hamburg and Wolfsburg. That is not the road form of an odds-on away favourite.
One of the good things about betting in Leverkusen games is that one does not have to think long and hard about how the match will play out. Schmidt’s tactics are pretty much the same regardless of venue, opposition or competition, with Leverkusen pressing as if its life depends on it and going forward at every opportunity. Leverkusen will not die wondering for as long as Schmidt is its strategist.
As an away team, Leverkusen will do the opposite of park the bus and provide chances for Hannover to beat it. One accepts that Leverkusen will probably to end the German Bundesliga season ahead of Hannover on the ladder but even if, say, the 96ers were ninth instead of fourth going into Saturday’s match they would not be available at such long odds.
With regards to the head-to-head ledger, Hannover drew 1-1 at Leverkusen in last term’s corresponding German Bundesliga fixture. But what the raw result does not convey is that Hannover missed a penalty kick in the fifth minute and forced nine corner kicks to Leverkusen’s paltry two.
It probably does not mean much because Leverkusen is a very different team under Schmidt than it was in previous seasons but its road record versus Hannover is poor. Leverkusen has not won any of its last six away games against Hannover – four draws and two losses – and its wait for a road victory over the 96ers is longer than any other current German Bundesliga side. That is a statistic for statistic lovers.
Hannover to beat Leverkusen
22nd November 14:30 GMT
Where to Bet: BetVictor
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