Matchday 17 is the halfway point of the season & another “Die Englische Woche“.
HOLSTEIN KIEL IN DREAM LAND
It’s nights like this that make cup football so special. 2.Bundelsiga side Holstein Kiel met treble winners Bayern Munich on a cold & snowy Wednesday evening in January. Hansi Flick took their opponents seriously & went with a strong starting eleven. Later on, he introduced Robert Lewandowski, David Alaba, Benjamin Pavard & Douglas Costa to try & get the win.
Kiel never stopped believing & skipper Hauke Wahl looped in a header in the 95th minute to take this game to extra-time. They defended deep to keep Bayern out & force this tie to go the distance. Both sides were perfect in their opening 5 & we moved to sudden death. Summer signing Marc Roca stepped up to take the 6th penalty & goalkeeper Ioannis Gelios did brilliantly to keep him out.
Up stepped the veteran Fin Bartels with the opportunity to knock Bayern out of the DFB-Pokal. The 33 -year-old showed ice-cold composure to slot past Manual Neuer in the 37th minute & we saw a repeat of that here. Without a care in the world, he jogged up to the spot & stroked the ball nonchalantly into the back of the net. Holstein Kiel erupted into jubilant celebrations & this is a night they will remember for the rest of their lives.
I enjoy watching Bayern & love their style of play. But, their exit this early on is the best thing that could have happened to the competition. Their dominance has become tedious & it will be great to see someone else win silverware. Bayer Leverkusen, VFL Wolfsburg, Borussia Mönchengladbach, VfB Stuttgart, RB Leipzig & Borussia Dortmund all remain in the competition & will fancy their chances to lift the DFB-Pokal.
BORUSSIA DORTMUND CONTINUE TO STRUGGLE
It was another disappointing result & performance from Dortmund against a side they are more than capable of beating. Mainz 05 rode their luck & took the lead in the 57th minute. Right-back Levin Öztunali unleashed a rocket from 25 yards out with his weaker left foot to stun BVB.
Edin Terzić immediately introduced 16-year-old Youssoufa Moukoko & the home side got back on level terms in the 73rd minute. He showed great strength to keep the ball in play & get a cross away that Philipp Mwene failed to clear properly. The ball fell into the path of Thomas Meunier & he smashed the equalizer into the bottom corner.
72 seconds later, Meunier found himself free in Mainz’s penalty area. Alexander Hack came across to close him down & ended up making an extremely rash challenge. The referee had no other choice than to point to the spot & club captain Marco Reus stepped up to take it. He put his effort wide of the post & blew their chance to take the 3 points.
Dortmund’s title hopes are fading fast & Terzić has failed to make any meaningful impact. He looks to be safe till the end of the season with the Board continuing to hold out till the summer to appoint a long-term replacement. Right now realistic season objectives for them would be a Top 4 finish, quarter-finals of the Champions League & winning the DFB-Pokal.
With all due respect to Reus, why is Erling Haaland not taking penalties? This video proves he is one of the best natural goalscorers in the game. 25 goals in 25 games is an amazing feat in any league & he has the world at his feet.
2️⃣5️⃣ goals— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) January 16, 2021
Enjoy all of Erling Haaland's record-breaking strikes 🌟⚽ pic.twitter.com/zg52SrPi3l
GOAL OF 2020
It was always going to be Valentino Lazaro’s scorpion kick against Leverkusen. The audacity, athletic ability & execution makes this a truly unique & special goal. I don’t get tired of watching it & this could very well be the one that wins the 2021 FIFA Puskás Award.
Let’s take a look at the 2020-21 Bundesliga Matchday 17 Betting Lines.
BUNDESLIGA MATCHDAY 17 BETTING LINES
ODDS & ENDS
- 6th placed VFL Wolfsburg at -112 is outstanding value against 17th placed Mainz 05.
- FC Union Berlin or the Draw is good value at +163. Urs Fischer’s side is unbeaten in 6 & I made the mistake of betting against them in Matchday 18.
- I’m feeling a VFL Wolfsburg & VFB Stuttgart Money Line Parlay at +232.
WHERE TO BET THE BUNDESLIGA IN THE US
In the US, you can legally bet on soccer in New Jersey, Indiana, and Pennsylvania.