This Saturday provides a real treat for Bundesliga fans, as the opening weekend gives us Monchengladbach against Leverkusen in a Rhineland derby, the duel that usually provides plenty of excitement. The Foals experienced a bad 2017/18 campaign as they finished outside the European places in the 9th position with 13 wins and 13 losses and a negative goal difference. They did destroy the minnows Hastedt 11-1 in the 1/32 finals of the DFB Pokal, but that was like a light training for Dieter Hecking’s men.
The new addition from the French side Nice, Alassane Plea, bagged a hat-trick on his debut, while Raffael and Thorgan Hazard also managed to do so, a nice way for the front three to start a season with nine goals combined. However, the tilt with the local rivals is something else but Plea is certainly an upgrade in the attack and he should justify his $27 million price tag. Gladbach used the money from JannikVestergaard’s sale to finance the move, and although they didn’t find a replacement for the Danish defender, they will be stronger in front of the opposition’s goal. Plea scored 21 goals for Nice in 2017/18, and he is +175 to score on his Bundesliga debut on Saturday.
On the other hand, Leverkusen couldn’t make it to the top four last year and they missed out on the Champions League despite ending with the same amount of points as Dortmund and Hoffenheim. Their goal difference of +14 wasn’t enough, so Bayer had to satisfy with the group stage of the Europa League instead. They had a much harder job in the opening round of the DFB Pokal as they snatched a 1-0 victory over the unknown Pforzheim thanks to Lucas Alario who scored the only goal from the penalty in the first half.
Leverkusen spent around $35 million on the left winger Paulinho and the right-back Mitchell Weiser, who joined from Vasco da Gama and Hertha, respectively. The Brazilian teenager came as a replacement for Leon Bailey who could leave later this month.
On the other side, Bayer sold the goalkeeper Bernd Leno to Arsenal, earning $29 mil and spending zero in bringing Lukas Hradecky from Frankfurt. Kevin Volland is the man to watch for the visitors as he experienced the best season of his career in 2017/18, scoring 14 league goals. He is +187 to score anytime against Gladbach and could prove to be a good bet, especially if you expect goals on both sides.
Betting Odds on the Total at BetDSI Sportsbook
Over 3 goals @ +102
Under 3 goals @ -120
Why bet on the Under?
It’s the first game of the Bundesliga and Leverkusen struggled in front of the goal against the amateur team, so I wouldn’t be very surprised if they can get into a rhythm on this one. Leverkusen failed to score in three of their last four Bundesliga matches on the road and the last two encounters between the sides produced just three goals in total.
Why bet on the Over?
Despite they didn’t produce for more than two goals in the last two clashes, be prepared for goals as the previous 20 H2H matches between these two produced astonishing 80 goals – four per contest. The visitors scored more goals against Gladbach (137) than any other team they have played in Bundesliga history, so if there is a fixture Leverkusen likes to play in Germany, it’s this one.
Monchengladbach vs. Leverkusen Betting Pick
Prior to the aforementioned low-scoring H2H duels, the rivals combined for three or more goals in six consecutive games, while seven out of the last nine meetings at the Borussia-Park produced at least three. Gladbach was on a three-game winning streak in front of their own fans but Leverkusen was victorious in the latest two encounters, scoring six goals in the span.
Gladbach’s attack is looking more than prepared for this clash, which cannot be said for the visitors considering their most recent game. Still, I am expecting minimum three goals on this one and I believe we will see goals on both ends of the pitch.
MY PICK: Over 3 goals (+102)