Busy day of football today, several tips to get your teeth stuck in to…
Hoffenheim v Hertha BSC (2:30pm)
Newly promoted Hertha Berlin have impressed so far this campaign, and Hoffenheim have looked so dangerous going forward and brimming with confidence. This could be a tight game, or one that gives us a load of goals.
Hoffenheim have only won once at home this season, losing their last two 2-1 to Leverkusen and Bayern. They’ve seen 2 3-3 draws and a 2-2 draw. Defensively they have been suspect, but going forward they’ve been great. Hertha aren’t the best going forward, and have lacked conviction this season. Their strength has been in defence and playing at home. Away they are yet to win or keep a clean sheet, and I’d be surprised if this game sees them get either. I’m expecting 2-3 home goals and think althouigh Hertha will probably score, they won’t keep up with the strike force of Hoffenheim.
Here were are backing the home side to officially end Hertha’s over achievements so far this season and make it 3 defeats on the bounce
Liverpool v Fulham (3pm)
After being given the all clear by Uruguay to play this game, Suarez is available to pair with Sturrudge again up front. After last weekend, the pair will be keen to reignite their form we had all started to get used to. Hosting Fulham is the ideal opportunity. Their last two home performances have been great, they’ve created plenty of chances and unlike last season they have been able to convert – and they LOOK like converting too. With Johnson expected to return too, they will be strong. Too strong for the visitors.
Fulham won at Palace a few weeks ago, but have lose 3 on the bounce now including their League Cup exit at Leicester. They managed a measly 34% possession at Southampton last weekend and I expect similar again today. After netting four past a reasonable West Brom side, I think this is all but a formality for Liverpool.
Chelsea v West Brom (3pm)
After their solid 3-0 win against Schalke at the Bridge in midweek, their 2-0 defeat at Newcastle may be forgotten by some, but there were several issues with the way they played at St James’ Park last Saturday that could be a cause for concern. They looked vulnerable from out wide in both open play and from set pieces. Whilst West Brom don’t look at that as their key route of attack, I think they have a chance from set pieces should they get a few in and around the box and on the flanks. Sessegnon/Berahino/Amalfitano will be tricky to deal with and whoever is tasked with the holding midfield role for Chelsea will have their work cut out. With Long up front as a target man the three behind him will play in and around him and if they aren’t tracked they will cause problems.
Chelsea have won 5/5 at home this season, and West Brom have lost just the once (4-1 to Liverpool) on the road. I think this will be a tight game and if West Brom can frustrate the home side, they could pinch a result. Even if they lose here, I think it would only be by the odd goal (maybe 2-1?), so I think this Asian line offers real value…
Monchengladbach v Nurnberg (5:30pm)
The table is starting to take shape and I think it is fair to say that Monchengladbach are deserving of their 4th position. Their home form has been exceptional this season, winning 5/5, scoring 17 and conceding just 3. In fact, their home record rivals that of Dortmund and Bayern. They are a strong side and the market is yet to notice. If Bayern were playing Nurnberg at home, the line would be -2.50 or greater, so we have to take advantage here…
With an almost full strength side, the hosts will want to put pressure on the top 3 and try to close the gap. More importantly, they have sides like Wolfsburg and Schalke on their heels. Nurnberg have managed score draws in their last 4 away fixtures, which sounds respectable. However, they’ve played no one of any stature in that time. they lost 2-0 at Bayern and never competed, something I expect to happen here today. An early home goal would spell real trouble for the visitors. I can’t see them scoring, and I’d be shocked if Gladbach struggled to find the net on more than one occassion.
Hoffenheim v Hertha BSC – Hoffenheim Win (2.25 – Bet Victor / William Hill)
Liverpool v Fulham – Liverpool -1.75 (1.85 – Bet Victor)
Chelsea v West Brom – West Brom +1.50 (1.97 – Bet Victor)
‘Gladbach v Nurnberg – Gladbach -1.50 (2.50 – Winner)