With Union Berlin and SC Freiburg continuing their strong starts to the season, and a former Bundesliga striker making waves in Spain, we’re looking at this week’s biggest Market Movers.
I have two Bundesliga shirts and I’m delighted to see both Union Berlin and Freiburg get off to a great start this season with the pair sitting 1st and 2nd in the Bundesliga. “Why those two shirts, Steve?” I hear you ask.
Well, during lockdown, with German football returning before the English, I decided to get stuck into Bundesliga fantasy football and chose Freiburg as my team and purchased a shirt from their website. I also managed to get hold of a Union Berlin one and have kept an eye on both ever since.
Urs Fischer’s side were 20/1 for a Top 4 finish and 100/1 in the ‘Without Bayern Munich’ market in pre-season, this despite their fantastic end to the 2021/22 campaign when they finished with a wet sail to finish 5th.
Union got off to a flyer with a 3-1 victory over Hertha in the city derby and were into 8/1 for the Top 4.
Further impressive results followed; a 6-1 hammering of Schalke and a 1-1 draw with Bayern catching the eye and they now sit top having won at the previously undefeated Cologne 1-0.
The fact Union are top sticks two fingers up to the ‘xG Brigade’, having an Expected Goals tally of 3.18 despite bagging 13 in their 6 matches.
Freiburg had a frustrating end to their 2021/22 season when losing the last two to end up 6th, but like Union, who were also 20/1 for the Top 4, they started fast and left Augsburg with all three points with a 4-0 victory after an impressive second-half showing.
Christian Streich’s outfit shortened into 9/1 and were 5/1 after the 1-0 win at Stuttgart. They were into 13/8 after a 3-2 win at Bayer Leverkusen and are now 7/4 after the stalemate with Monchengladbach.
It’s extremely unlikely that these two will be challenging for the title come 27th May, but I’m going to enjoy walking around in these shirts pretending to be a hipster with red-hot favourites Bayern Munich continuing to drop points in the title race.
It’s very easy to point towards the absence of Robert Lewandowski when observing Bayern dropping points in three of their six games, and easier still when you see his start to life in Catalonia.
The Pole was 9/4 for La Liga Top Goalscorer after blanking on his debut against Rayo Vallecano, but with back-to-back braces against Real Sociedad and Valladolid, he was in to 6/5.
Two more goals against Sevilla and Cadiz (where he only played 34 minutes following his Champions League exploits) have seen him top the scoring charts and be cut to 4/6.
bet365 set his La Liga Total Goals line of 30+ at 6/1 which was cut to 9/2 before a ball was kicked, and that’s now as short as 8/11.
He’s also picked up where he left off in the Champions League. Dealt a tough hand with Inter and former club Bayern Munich, Lewandowski will have been looking to make hay against whipping boys Viktoria Plzen, and he did just that with a hat-trick, seeing his Champions League Top Goalscorer price cut from 9/1 to 5/2.
Though he’ll likely face stiffer competition in Europe than in Spain; with Kylian Mbappe (7/1 into 9/2) after his brace against Juventus, with two games against Maccabi Haifa to come and the unrelenting Erling Haaland (4/1 pre-tournament to 3/1 before the first game, now 7/4) scoring two against Sevilla.
By Steve Freeth
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