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Leverkusen has marked out itself as a German Bundesliga team to watch this season and the Bayer-backed team is the best bet of the second round at odds of -200 with William Hill and Bwin to beat Hertha in its first home match.
Hiring former Salzburg supremo Roger Schmidt is looking like a smart bit of business because Leverkusen is playing with a great deal of confidence under him and it has adapted to the distinctive style of play that he developed at Salzburg.
Leverkusen set a new German Bundesliga record when it scored nine seconds into its opening game away to Dortmund and it was good value for its eventual 2-0 victory over the side that been a top-two finisher in each of the last four championships. Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp was generous in his praise of Leverkusen, both before and after the match.
According to the information that one has found online, it would appear that Leverkusen had one of the most intensive pre-season programs of the 18 German Bundesliga teams, which makes sense in hindsight because it would have taken a lot of practice games for it to get used to Schmidt’s tactics.
Leverkusen’s positive play is going to blow away some German Bundesliga sides and one is betting that Hertha will not be handle what comes its way on Saturday. Hertha drew 2-2 with Bremen in Berlin in the German Bundesliga first round and one thinks that result will not read very well by the end of the term. It is a new season but it is well worth nothing that Hertha scored only one goal in its last five German Bundesliga matches last term, collecting just one point.
The same odds of -200 are available with several bookmakers, including William Hill, Coral and Ladbrokes , about Bayern Munchen continuing its German Bundesliga title defence with an away win over a Schalke team that lost 1-2 at Hannover last weekend and whose pre-season results were ordinary.
Schalke’s German Bundesliga preparations kicked off okay but they went downhill as it stepped up in grade – it lost to Newcastle and Tottenham, while a third English Premier League side beat it in a penalty competition – and it suffered a cup loss on the road to Dynamo Dresden.
Until proven otherwise, Bayern Munchen is the class act of the German Bundesliga and the champion has won each of its last seven competitive games versus Schalke, including two one-sided matches during last term’s championship – Bayern thrashed Schalke 4-0 in Gelsenkirchen and 5-1 in Munich.
Finally, Mainz looks like a German Bundesliga team to oppose and, therefore, one is willing to take a punt on Hannover getting three points at the odds of +250 with Ladbrokes .
Having panned Hertha’s German Bundesliga away form only a few paragraphs ago it would be hypocritical not to mention that Hannover’s numbers on the road last season were awful, with the 96ers losing 12 of their 17 league road games.
One opposed Mainz in its German Bundesliga opener away to Paderborn and the newly promoted side was robbed of a debut home win by an injury-time penalty kick that Ja-Cheol Koo converted for the away team. Mainz was under the odds to beat Paderborn and it is under the odds to beat Hannover.
Sometimes the temptation with away sides priced at around the +250 mark is to play the draw-no-bet market but one feels that Hannover is not the type of team that warrants a conservative betting approach. Back Hannover to win at the long odds and do not worry about playing it cautiously.
Hannover to beat Mainz
31st August 14:30 GMT
Where to Bet: Ladbrokes
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