Rugby fanatic - but so much more
Rugby fanatic - but so much more
League leaders Bayern Munich travel to Germany’s capital on Sunday, as the Bundesliga resumes action after its recent pause. Union Berlin have been one of the 2019/20 season’s surprise packages, having been newly promoted after beating VfB Stuttgart in the play-off final last season. Seemingly secure in mid-table, the Berliners will be looking to take advantage of any rustiness from the Bavarian giants this weekend and cause a shock. You can read all about our predictions for the game and where you can find the best betting value here!
Urs Fischer’s Union Berlin team have been a bit of a suprise package in 2019/20. Having been promoted via the play-offs last season, the 30 points that they have collected during the current campaign means that they are closer to pushing for a place in Europe than they are to relegation.
Sebastian Andersson scored his 11th goal of the season in Die Eisernen’s last game, when they were beaten 3-1 at Freiburg. Skipper Christopher Timmel provided the assist for that goal – his seventh assist of the season. William Hill are offering odds of 4.33 for Andersson to score at any time on Sunday.
Bayern Munich are currently top of the Bundesliga, leading second-placed Borussia Dortmund by four points – their biggest lead they have had at any stage of the current campaign. Hans-Dieter Flick’s team are now unbeaten in 15 games in all competitions, with 11 of those matches having been in the Bundesliga.
Robert Lewandowski was the man in scoring form for Bayern before the season’s suspension. The Pole has netted 13 times in 25 Bundesliga appearances this season. But he is not the only danger man in the Bayern front line. Winger Serge Gnabry has provided four assists and scored seven goals in his last 11 Bundesliga games.
These two teams have only met twice before in history, so there is not much of a record to base any analysis on. Union were newly promoted last season but have adjusted to life in the top flight well and should be safe from relegation if they can continue the solid form that they showed in the Bundesliga before the break. Bayern are pushing for the title again, and will want to win this game and generate some momentum for their title challenge after the break. Union will hope to catch the Reds cold and with some rustiness still in place.
Bayern will be at almost full strength on Sunday. Philippe Coutinho has undergone ankle surgery and will likely be missing, though, and Niklas Süle is regaining match fitness after a torn ACL so will also likely miss out. Bayern are also still in the Champions League, and look set to reach the quarter-finals of that competition, after beating Chelsea 3-0 in the first leg of the last 16 tie, just before football was suspended.
Urs Fischer does not have a great personal record against Bayern, though. The Swiss has lost all three of his competitive clashes with the Munich outfit. He lost two European ties against the Bavarians whilst coach at Zurich, and Union were also beaten by the Reds earlier this season. The Berliners will take optimism from the form of their Swedish striker Andersson. He has scored six of his 11 Bundesliga goals this season with his head, more than any other player in the league. Skipper Trimmel has assisted with seven goals from corners during this campaign, another league-leading stat. Set-pieces could therefore bring some joy for Union.
We suspect that this game will be tighter than many are predicting. Both teams will surely be a little rusty after the break due to the global health crisis, and Union will hope to ctach Bayern a little flat-footed. Goals from set-pieces probably represent the Berlin club’s best chance of success. We predict that Bayern will run out winners in the end, though it will close. We think that the final score will be 2-1 in favour of the away team.
Our recommended tip for this game comes from William Hill, who are offering odds of 2.62 on Bayern to win and both teams to score. We suspect that this is a good bet as we expect the Munich outfit to win the game but also to find it tough. Union are at home, and offer a decent threat in attack, so we expect them to score. Bayern have one of the most potent forward lines in the Bundesliga, though, if not in Europe, and that power will tell in the end.