Wolfsburg is a UEFA Champions League quarter-finalist thanks in large part to its draw but its German Bundesliga campaign has been bitterly disappointing for a team that was Bayern Munchen’s closest challenger last season. Wolfsburg finished last term’s German Bundesliga in second place but the Wolves are eighth after 28 of this season’s 34 rounds and they are six points behind both sixth-ranked Mainz and seventh-ranked Schalke. The chance of Wolfsburg taking part in one of UEFA’s competitions next term is not all that high.
Domestically, it has been downhill for Wolfsburg ever since it thrashed German Bundesliga rival Bremen 6-0 in November, an emphatic home victory that earned it third position on the ladder. Wolfsburg is 3-5-7 in its subsequent 15 German Bundesliga games, with its wins coming at home to promoted Ingolstadt, away to wooden spoon favourite Hannover and at home to fourth-placed Monchengladbach. So Wolfsburg has got the better of only one decent German Bundesliga side in the last four months and the Wolves will be backing up against Mainz from a UEFA Champions League date with Real Madrid three days earlier. Wolfsburg is impossible to like to odds not much bigger than even money to defeat Mainz at home.
The odds of +265 that 888Sport and Unibet are listing about Mainz winning its German Bundesliga match at Wolfsburg are sufficiently tempting for one to nominate the O-Fives as the best bet of the weekend for speculative soccer punters.
Indeed, according to one’s German Bundesliga collateral form analysis, Wolfsburg is quite a bit inferior to Mainz as the latter enjoys a 9-4-4 advantage over the former. Mainz has outperformed Wolfsburg versus Bayern Munchen (first), Monchengladbach (fourth), Leverkusen (fifth), Hamburg (10th), Koln (11th), Stuttgart (12th), Augsburg (16th) and Frankfurt (17th) as well as taking the honours in their head-to-head clash – the O-Fives beat the Wolves 2-0. Wolfsburg has outperformed Mainz versus Dortmund (second), Hertha (third), Ingolstadt (ninth) and Bremen (15th), while the O-Fives and the Wolves have performed equally well in their battles with Schalke (seventh), Darmstadt (13th), Hoffenheim (14th) and bottom-of-the-ladder Hannover.
Maybe bookmakers are banking on Bas Dost, who is close to recovering from the broken foot that he sustained during a Wolfsburg training camp in January, scoring the goals to avenge the 0-2 German Bundesliga loss that the Wolves suffered at Mainz in November. One concedes that Dost’s likely participation in Saturday’s German Bundesliga match is a positive for Wolfsburg but one cannot get away from those aforementioned collateral form figures that put Mainz on a higher level than its host. The purpose of this weekly column is to highlight live wagers that are several rolls of the board over the top and Mainz is precisely that. When one drew up one’s German Bundesliga tissue, which is something that any self-respecting punter should do before placing a bet, one pencilled in Mainz at odds of +180 to triumph over Wolfsburg at the Volkswagen Arena. Odds of +265 mean that there is a difference of more than eight per cent in those betting percentages and that is sufficient to have a punt.
Mainz could not have picked a better time to visit Wolfsburg in the German Bundesliga – the Wolves have a couple of UEFA Champions League games against Real Madrid in the space of seven days – and the O-Fives should fear no side on their travels having accounted for Bayern Munchen at the Allianz Arena last month. That stunning 2-1 German Bundesliga away victory would have done wonders for Mainz’s confidence.
Mainz 05 to beat Wofsburg
Saturday 9th April, 17:30 GMT