Bundesliga preview and tips: Bayern Munich must tread carefully at Werder Bremen
The champions hold a slender one-point lead over arch rivals Borussia Dortmund and will probably feel they have to win all their remaining games to hold off their nearest challengers. Bayern should feel confident of securing all three points here despite a worrying list on high-profile absentees. That said Werder Bremen should feel confident of upsetting an out-of-sorts Bayern side who have struggled recently especially away from home - they lost 3-1 to Mainz on their last away trip. Bremen should be able to trouble Sommer and a bet on the +1.5 Asian Handicap could yield rewards in what might prove to be a closer game than the market suggests. Suggested bet: Werder Bremen +1.5 Asian Handicap
Thomas Tuchel may well have breathed a sigh of relief last Sunday when Serge Gnabry headed his Bayern side into the lead on 69 minutes of their home game against bottom side Hertha Berlin. While Bayern Munich completely dominated the ball, they looked rather toothless in front of goal and Hertha likely believed they could secure the most unlikely of points. Kingsley Coman scored ten minutes later to ensure Bayern took advantage of Dortmund's Friday night slip-up, but the finishing prowess of Bayern's forwards must have been a concern to Tuchel, despite 26 shots and 82% possession. Werder Bremen have enjoyed a very good season back in the top flight and are all but safe from relegation worries with a seven-point cushion that puts them four places above 16th-placed Bochum. A large part of this safe season is down to a certain German World Cup goal-scoring forward called Niclas Fullkrug. Known for his finishing abilities, he is the unlikely leader of the Bundesliga Golden Boot rankings with 16 - three clear of Randal Kolo Muani of Eintracht Frankfurt and Marcus Thuram of Borussia Monchengladbach. Bremen play an industrial style of football which has worked to great effect this season under head coach Ole Werner. Bayern will enter this match missing numerous key players which is likely to hamper Tuchel's tactical plans significantly. Leon Goretzka is suspended having picked up his fifth yellow card of the campaign, meaning Jamal Musiala may be asked to drop deeper and partner Joshua Kimmich in a deep-lying midfield role. Dayot Upamecano, and Alphonso Davies are both ruled out indefinitely which should yield a start for Noussair Mazroui at right back, with Benjamin Pavard covering the centre defensive position. With Eric Choupo-Moting also a major doubt, youngster Mathys Tel is likely to be given a huge opportunity to lead the line upfront. with Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane and Kingsley Coman the likely supporting cast going forward. Werder Bremen will hope that their top scorer and talisman Niclas Fullkrug is indeed fit for this one following a calf problem, whilst Dikeni-Rafid Salifou and Felix Agu are both ruled out indefinitely.
Paul Bathurst provides football tips as Soccer Sharp on Tipstrr
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