Dusseldorf un-Fortuna-te to come up against in-form Dortmund


Borussia Dortmund are on a high after their extraordinary win over Real Madrid, and Kevin Hatchard expects them to brush aside struggling Fortuna Dusseldorf.


Fortuna Dusseldorf vs Borussia Dortmund, Sat 17:30 BST, Live on Betfair Live Video

Match Odds: Fortuna 5.3, Dortmund 1.74, the draw 4.0


So the secrets are out then. The teams at the top of the Bundesliga are pretty decent, and Dortmund's Jurgen Klopp (or Robin Hood as he has bizarrely suggested) is the coolest coach on the planet. What are Bundesliga hipsters like me supposed to do now? Ah well, there's always the obscurity of Fortuna Dusseldorf to dive into.

As astonishing as BVB's 4-1 Champions League semi-final win over Real Madrid was, in some ways the victory itself wasn't a huge surprise. Kloppo's merry men are in the midst of an excellent run of form, and they are scoring freely. Dortmund are unbeaten in eight matches in all competitions, winning seven of them. Since Christmas they have rattled in 51 goals in 19 matches, an average of 2.68 goals per game. Opta tell us Dortmund are on course to beat their best ever Bundesliga goal-scoring tally of 80, which was set last season.


Robert Lewandowski, who scored all four goals against the men from Madrid, is justifying his status as one of world football's hottest properties. He has scored 22 goals in his last 20 games for club and country, and he has netted at least once in each of his last 12 Bundesliga appearances (the record is 16 matches, held by Gerd Muller). Wednesday's virtuoso display against Real was the eighth match this season in which he has scored two goals or more.


Dortmund insist they plan to keep Lewandowski, but the Polish international's contract expires at the end of next season, and he has refused to sign a new one. Bayern Munich are keen to snap him up, but it remains to be seen whether he will follow Mario Gotze from the Ruhr to Bavaria.


So can relegation-threatened Fortuna Dusseldorf stop in-form Dortmund? Erm...no. Norbert Meier's men are dropping like a stone, and their decline continued with last week's 2-1 reverse at Hamburg. Fortuna haven't won any of their last eight league games (their longest winless run of the season), and they are just three points above the relegation playoff place, with a six point gap to the automatic dropzone. The defence has sprung big leaks since the winter break, and Meier has been palpably unable to plug them. Fortuna have shipped an eye-watering 18 goals in their last eight games, and they have kept just one clean sheet since Christmas.


Fortuna held Dortmund to a 1-1 draw at Signal Iduna Park, but that was one BVB's poorest performances of the season. Since then BVB have vastly improved, while Fortuna have declined sharply. Even if Klopp rests some key players, I just can't see the hosts getting a result.


Recommended Bets

Back Borussia Dortmund -1.5 on the Asian Handicap at 2.4

Back Over 3.5 Goals at 2.76



Hoffenheim vs Nurnberg, Sat 14:30 BST

Match Odds: Hoffenheim 2.08, Nurnberg 3.9, the draw 3.55


Hoffenheim are running out of games to save themselves from the drop, but Nurnberg could prove to be perfect opponents. The Bavarians are a healthy 11 points above the bottom three, and can be forgiven for easing into holiday mode (insert clichéd beach towels joke here). Opta tell us Nurnberg have won just one of their last 13 away games in the Bundesliga, and only Hoffe and Fortuna Dusseldorf have recorded fewer road wins this term. They have also lost their last two games - a 4-0 thrashing by Bayern Munich and a hugely embarrassing home defeat to the bottom side Greuther Furth. Nurnberg did hit the woodwork three times, but it takes a pretty special effort to lose to the Clover Leaves.


Hoffe were dismantled 5-0 at Bayer Leverkusen last week, but frankly that was a bonus game against one of the division's best sides, and an early red card for midfielder Eugen Polanski didn't exactly help. This is crunch time, and Markus Gisdol's men can take heart from their last home game against Fortuna. Hoffe coped with the pressure of a "relegation six-pointer", and won 3-0 without playing that well. In the home game before that they kept another clean sheet in a 0-0 draw with Mainz, and they performed well in a 1-0 home defeat to all-conquering Bayern.


Motivation could be a key factor, as Hoffe desperately need the points against a Nurnberg side that are as good as safe. Gisdol has made a positive difference since replacing Marco Kurz, and with forwards Kevin Volland and Roberto Firmino looking re-energised, I think Hoffe will pick up another vital home win.


Recommended Bet

Back Hoffenheim to win at 2.08



Augsburg vs Stuttgart, Sat 14:30 BST

Match Odds: Augsburg 2.3, Stuttgart 3.4, the draw 3.5


After a strong post-Christmas surge, Augsburg are losing momentum at the wrong time, and they are in the relegation playoff slot. Markus Weinzierl's men have lost three of their last four matches, so the last thing they need is to come up against their bogey team Stuttgart. Since Augsburg were promoted in 2011, they have lost all three of their meetings with the Swabians.


To make matters worse for Augsburg, Bruno Labbadia's side are on a hot streak. They have won four of their last six games, including the last three, and Opta say they have lost just one of their last four Bundesliga away games. Stuttgart's away record is pretty good - only three teams have racked up more Bundesliga wins (six) on their travels.


Recommended Bet

Back Stuttgart to win at 3.4


(Source: Betfair)




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