Cologne couldn’t bounce back from their deflating 3-2 defeat at home to “Rheinderby” rivals Borussia Monchengladbach, as a 2-1 defeat away to Augsburg last weekend saw them remain just one point behind 6th placed Freiburg. Freiburg are, however, just one point ahead of them, so Cologne’s target of European football remains a very reachable and realistic goal. Peter Stöger’s side have been defeated just twice on their home turf this season (14%), but the inform TSG Hoffenheim should put them to the test this weekend.
Hoffenheim, on the other hand, were able to bounce back from their shock 2-1 defeat away to Hamburger SV. TSG’s dominant 5-3 win at home to Borussia M’gladbach last weekend very much set them back on track, and their 54 point total sees them remain comfortably within the top four, which not only makes Champions League qualification, but also European football in general, a reachable and realistic goal for the first time in the club’s history. Notably, Hoffenheim have taken 74 points from 42 matches under coach Julian Nagelsmann, a statistic that is only bettered by that of Borussia Dortmund (86 points) and reigning champions Bayern Munich (104 points) over the same number.
Hoffenheim are the favourites here at 13/10 with bet365, but we feel that the security is in “both teams to score” for the following reasons: first and foremost, Cologne’s formidable home record (W7 D5 L2) and Hoffenheim’s less convincing record on the road (W4 D7 L3) sees much better value in a draw (at 12/5) than either side to win. What is notable, however, is that “both teams to score” has landed in a massive 79% of Hoffenheim’s away matches, as well as 50% of Cologne’s home matches. Looking at both sides’ recent performances, even though Cologne are experiencing a slump in form, they have failed to score in just two of their thirteen Bundesliga matches in 2017 (12%). Meanwhile, though Hoffenheim hold just a 29% win rate over their 14 Bundesliga matches on the road, they’ve scored at least one goal in 13 of them (93%).
If there’s any one individual player to bank on to score this Friday, it’d be Cologne’s Anthony Modeste (pictured above). His 23 goals so far this season – the best record of any Cologne striker since 1977/78 – make him the Bundesliga’s 3rd top scorer and represent a massive 55% of Cologne’s goals this season. With four goals over his last three outings at the RheinEnergieArena, he’s a decent price to score anytime at 21/20 with bet365. Regarding a correct score bet, both Cologne and TSG Hoffenheim average 1.57 goals per match at home and away respectively. With Cologne stronger at home and TSG more unconvincing away, we then find top value in a 2-2 draw at 11/1 with bet365.
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