Werder Bremen host reigning champions Borussia Dortmund for the Bundesliga's Saturday evening match. Dortmund are hot favourites and can be found at a decent price if you're willing to shop around.
At the time of writing the best odds are 7/10 for the away site and can be got with SportingBet. The home side are firm outsiders, with MarathonBet offering as much as 43/10 for a home win. But can more value be found?
The home side have had a pretty quiet January transfer period. So far, they have only brought in young Croatian defender, Mateo PavloviÄ‡ to try to shore up their leaky defence (29 conceded in 17 matches). Dortmund, have brought Nuri Sahin's Madrid and Liverpool nightmares to an end. The young Turkish international was Bundesliga player of the year in 2011 before leaving for Real Madrid. A spate of injuries kept him out of Jose Mourinho's plans and Liverpool's Brendan Rogers surprisingly didn't appear to know where to play him. With Sahin returning, Dortmund decided to offload another Croatian player. Midfielder, Ivan Perisic, has moved to Wolfsburg for €8m. Could Sahin mark his 2nd Dortmund debut with a goal. He's 7/2 for an anytime goal with Boylesports. But beware, as a DM with Dortmund he only scored 13 times in 135 appearances.
Injury wise, Dortmund are fighting fit, but Bremen midfielder, Philipp Bargfrede will be missing while influential defender, Sebastian Prödl, is likely to return to the first team . The main concerns for Dortmund will be focused on Polish striker Robert Lewandowski. With his impending summer move to Manchester United (Dortmund have confirmed he's going but not where to), will manager Jürgen Klopp be able to keep the young Pole focused on the chase for the Bundesliga? Indeed, with the news that Pep Guardiola is set to take over at Bayern Munich during the summer, some of Dortmund's younger players could take it to mean that Dortmund's time of dominance is approaching an end. Marco Reus, Kevin Großkreutz & Mario Götze have all been linked with moves to warmer climates all through the January transfer window.
The winter break came at the perfect time for Bremen, the River Islanders only recorded 2 wins from their last 6 games. However, their home record has been quite good, 4 wins, 2 draws & 2 loses (against Bayern and the high flying Bayer Leverkusen). Their away record has been atrocious though, with only 2 wins on the road. Dortmund have had their fair share of disappointing results on the road this season too, 5 wins, 4 draws and 1 defeat, most worryingly though, the Black Yellows have drawing far too many matches (6/17). They seem to have already resigned from the Bundesliga title, they sit in 3rd position and are 12 points behind Bayern, but are just 3 points off Leverkusen in 2nd place.
The Weserstadion hasn't been a happy hunting ground for Dortmund in previous years, in the last 5 meetings, they've only beaten Bremen twice, losing once and drawing twice. With this in mind the Asian Handicap of +1 for Bremen looks to be good value at 13/16 with Pinnacle, +0.5, for those of you brave enough, is 27/20 with Dafabet. Only one game has gone over 2.5 goals, with all 4 others recording 2 goals.
However, 5/8 previous Bremen home games have been overs, 5/9 Dortmund away games follow the same stat. Both teams are scoring for fun, Bremen have scored in every single home game, bar their opening match, while Dortmund have scored in all away games, scoring 2 or more in 6/9 away games. Both Teams to Score (BTTS) looks like a Banker Bet at 4/7 with Bet365. Bremen have only kept 2 home clean sheets, while Dortmund have kept only one on their travels.
Bremen are averaging 1.75 goals per home game, while Dortmund's away stat is 2 goals per game, with each conceding 1.38 & 1.33 respectfully. The highest over 2.5 can be got with Pinnacle at 3/5, but I've a feeling we're likely to see plenty of goals so I'm going to go for Over 3, 97/100 with 32Red Bet & Pinnacle.
Over 3 goals, 97/100 Pinnacle
Werder Bremen +1, 13/16 Pinnacle
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By Paddy Murphy