Tom Love has an in-depth preview and two tips for Saturday's late kick-off in the Bundesliga.
Saturday evening’s clash comes at Signal Iduna Park as Dortmund welcome an in-form Hertha Berlin. Dortmund have done little wrong since the Hinrunde with 10 wins out of 12 but the fact of the matter is Bayern Munich have picked up 43 points from the last 45 available and beat Dortmund narrowly last week meaning BVB now trail Bayern by seven points and any chance of a title is becoming increasingly tough.
Lucian Favre also has a fairly hefty injury list to deal with at the moment. First choice centre halves Mats Hummels and Dan Axel Zagadou are both out as well as Marco Reus and Mo Dahoud, what’s more there’s still doubts around the fitness of star striker Erling Haaland. Manuel Akanji will likely be the only true centre back who is available, he could be supplemented by Lukas Piszcek and Emre Can should they continue with a back three.
Hertha may be buoyed by the defensive injuries for Dortmund but coach Bruno Labaddia has selection issues of his own. Star man Matheus Cunha has been a revelation since he came in from Leipzig but he has been ruled out for this clash due to concussion. The capital club are also without Marius Wolf, Marvin Plattenhardt, Luca Netz and keeper Thomas Kraft for the trip west.
Javairo Dilrosun and Krzysztof Piatek have made an impact off the bench and the lively Dilrosun is likely to take the place of Cunha ad Labaddia adopts a counter attack approach with him and Dodi Lukebakio providing the pace and ball carrying ability out wide to support the evergreen Vedad Ibisevic up front. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Hertha hit the net here given their excellent form.
That brings me onto the betting and the 4/5 available on both teams to score and 2.5 goals does make appeal over . Even without Haaland we once again saw how destructive Dortmund can be going forward with the likes of Jadon Sancho, Julian Brandt and Thorgan Hazard interchanging, making it hard for defenders to pick them up. Wing backs Raphael Guerreiro and Achraf Hakimi love to get forward and provide the width in attacks too, Hertha could have their hands full in that regard. BVB also average over 3 team goals per game when on home turf so it’s difficult to see the hosts not getting a couple of goals at least.
On the flip side Hertha have serious dangers on the counter and have the quality to carve through a makeshift Dortmund defence, they’ve score twice or more in each of their last six Bundesliga games and don’t have the intimidating yellow wall to deal with.
I’ll also dip into a market that rarely sees much action and that’s the corner handicap. I was surprised to see this set quite strongly in favour of Dortmund with the line being at 4. Of course, they’re the favourites to win the game but they aren’t as strong on the corners as you’d probably think. They’ve only beat this corner handicap once in their last seven games in all competitions.
On the other hand, Hertha have been competitive in the corner stakes of late, this bet would’ve won in each of their last ten games! They will try and exploit the gaps behind the wing backs and go back to front pretty swiftly you’d imagine and you often find corners come from those situations especially with the two wingers Hertha have at their disposal. They’re also racking up more shots than they used to which has a positive correlation to racking up the corners. The 20/21 offering on Hertha +4 on the corner handicap therefore looks like a belter.