European Football Weekend Preview
The domestic schedule resumes it's normal rotation after a action packed week of European matches, now with the focus back on league matters, this weekend once again offers up a full slate of fixtures that can ultimately decide the direction of each clubs path.
For those who invest in the top flight league, always take into account the teams who participated in additional fixtures during the week, even with bolstered rosters the lack of focus or fatigue can take place with the biggest clubs in the world, do your research and continue to look for the best value options on the board each round.
Germany - Bundesliga - Match Day 23
10510 FC Koln - 10511 Hannover 96
Müngersdorfer Stadion, Cologne, Germany
2-17-2018 - 9:30 am ET
The tale of two clubs headed in opposite directions highlights the featured match in Germany, newly promoted Hannover travel west to square off with bottom of the table Koln at the famed Müngersdorfer Stadion, with points being an absolute necessity at this point in the season, we are certain to see maximum efforts on full display with each team fighting for their own specific reasons.
Hannover 96 start the round in stable form, the Reds have failed to lose a match in 5 of their last 6 Bundesliga games, while picking up 9 crucial points in their quest for league survival.
"Die Roten" have exceeded expectations in the top flight table after earning promotion following the 2016-2017 campaign, currently in possession of the 9th spot with a overall record of 8-7-7, with 31 points the visitors only sit 5 points behind the top 4 clubs in the league.
André Breitenreiter will soon meet his one year anniversary with the club, after being assigned as the new head man in March of 2017, the veteran German manager has run off a record of 15-10-8 while at the helm of the Reds, now with his 4th club since 2011, the former Hannover Attacking Midfielder has a clear idea of what he expects from his squad on a weekly basis.
Breitenreiter has regularly elected to choose a 3-4-3 - 3-4-2-1 formation to carry out the plan of attack, his sides are most productive from Set Pieces and Direct Free Kicks, with hulking presences within the box, the visitors are known for their accurate Aerial assaults, which routinely gives them an advantage in almost every match they enter.
The Reds are generally on the losing end of the possession battle, that being said they take full advantage of times they do have the ball at their feet, Hannover make life difficult on each opponent they encounter a while inside their own half of the pitch, with the ability to produce a flurry of long range shots from all different angles, Goal Keepers must stay alert at all times to avoid being scored on.
Niclas Füllkrug fits perfectly into the Breitenreiter 's style of play, the German Forward is a towering presence who relishes the opportunity to win a Aerial battle in the box.
Füllkrug has went without scoring in his last 3 Bundesliga matches, the young Striker should be salivating at the chance to face a Koln back-line who have struggled to defend against strong Set Piece teams, with 11 Goals scored in all competitions, the talented trigger-man offers up a major danger to the home side.
Hannover have been a consistent side at placing the ball in the back of the net, getting on the score-sheet in 10 of their 11 away fixtures. while scoring an average of 1 Goals per match in their last 11 Bundesliga road games.
The Hannover defense has it's struggles to keep clean sheets during their travels, conceding an average of 1.7 Goals per match in their last 11 Bundesliga home games.
FC Koln will welcome their Eastern foes to Billy Goat land in desperate need of a positive result, the Goats found themsleves in a lute warm run to start the new year, but their 3 match unbeaten streak came to a adbrupt halt with a 4-2 thumping against a surging Eintracht Frankfurt squad.
Koln start Match Day 23 the current owners of the last spot in the Bundesliga table, with the 18th position all too themselves, the hosts have put together a overall record of 3-4-15 while accumulating 13 points, the home side now sit 10 points away from the jumping out of the relegation zone.
Stefan Ruthebeck was placed in the unenviable task of saving Koln from relegation, after the sacking of Peter Stoeger who lead this club to the Europa League only one season ago, Ruthenbeck now must pull off a minor miracle to save this proud club from dropping to the Bundesliga second division to start the 2018-2019 campaign.
The Goats have fell victim to a long list of impactful injuries to key starters in their rotation, with as many as 15 missing members at one time during the season has really set the tone for the forgettable campaign, add in loaning out arguably their best overall player Anthony Modeste to Chinese super-club Tianjin Quanjian over the Summer, Koln have been cursed from day one of the Bundesliga ever since.
Koln have conformed to a standard 4-4-2 formation in hopes of grinding out points, with Simon Terodde nominated as the main target man in the mediocre attack, Terrodde has been a bright spot since his insertion into the starting eleven, the German Forward has taken advantage of his time as the number 9 in the Goats attack, with 5 Goals scored in just 5 appearances, expect the new found danger man to make his presence felt during this Match Day 23 event.
FC Koln have improved their overall offenisive structure since the start of the season, having posted double figures in of their last 4 fixtures at the Müngersdorfer Stadion, while scoring an average of 1 Goal per match in their last 11 Bundesliga home games.
The FC Koln defense has been less than reliable during this grueling season, the Billy Goats are conceding a astronomic 2.1 Goals per match in their last 11 Bundesliga home games.
This match-up has traditionally brought about low scoring cagey affairs, but with new leadership and the desire to get points in the suddenly dwindling season, we should expect a faster paced tempo during Round 23.
Hannover have been a solid unit on their own pitch, but away from home they have struggled to get points having gone win-less in their last 6 Bundesliga road games.
Koln on the other hand have shown great resolve while in front of their loyal fans, the Goats have always been a tough side to take down on thier own pitch, and should show that same grit and work-rate when their top ten visitors come to town.
Hannover will come into this match looking to take advantage of Koln deficiencies gaurding against Set Pieces and Long Range shots, the Reds stand a great chance of getting on the score board through these methods of play.
FC Koln will look to get out and run, as they have become a impactful side in counter attacking situations, while also using Long Shots and piercing crosses to break down the Hannover defensive structure.
Over 1 -110 / 1.87 - Total 1st Half Goal
Over 1.5 -105 / 1.95 - Total 2nd Half Goals
Over 2.5 -120 / 1.83 - Total Full Game Goals
FC Koln Team Total Over 1.5 -110 / 1.91 - Goals
Hannover - Team Total Over 1 -135 / 1.74 - Goal
Both Teams To Score and Over 2.5 Goals +110 / 2.1
10504 Freiburg - 10505 Werder Bremen
2-17-2018 - 9:30 am ET
Both Teams To Score - "YES" -135 / 1.74
10507 Hamburg - 10508 Bayer Leverkusen
2-17-2018 - 9:30 am ET
Both Teams To Score - "YES" -125 / 1.8
Bayer Leverkusen - Team Total Over 1.25 -125 / 1.8 - Goals
10513 Wolfsburg - 10514 Bayern Munich
2-17-2018 - 9:30 am ET
Bayern Munich -1.25 -125 / 1.8 - Full Game Spread
10516 Schalke - 10517 Hoffenheim
2-17-2018 - 12:30 pm ET
Over 1 -135 / 1.74 - Total 1st Half Goal
Hoffenheim +0.25 -125 / 1.8 - 1st Half Spread
Hoffenheim +0.5 -125 / 1.8 - Full Game Spread
Hoffenheim - Team Total Over 1 -135 / 1.74 - Goal
Both Teams To Score and Over 2.5 Goals +100 / 2.0
France - Ligue 1 - Match Day 26
16204 PSG - 16205 Strasbourg
2-17-2018 - 11:00 am ET
Over 1.75 +100 / 2.0 - Total 1st Half Goals
Over 4 -125 / 1.8 - Total Full Game Goals
PSG - Team Total Over 3.75 -110 / 1.91 - Goals
Spain - La Liga - Match Day 24
15804 Las Palmas - 15805 Sevilla
2-17-2018 - 7:00 am ET
Over 1.5 -125 / 1.8 - Total 2nd Half Goals
Sevilla - Team Total Over 1.5 -125 / 1.8 - Goals
Las Palmas - Team Total Over 1 -135 / 1.74 - Goal
Both Teams To Score and Over 2.5 Goals -115 / 1.87
Best Of Luck To All