Germany Bundesliga: Mainz - Stuttgart
Ahead of Stuutgart's last away start , a daunting trip to Dortmund I wrote .........
"After discussing Dortmund and their huge offensive threat a lot in early season, we have largely left them alone since, but they look sure to be amongst the goals today and I feel there is value in them today, despite their short odds. Notes from one of those early games is reproduced below (see November 28th email) to provide some background information. Borussia are once more the closest challengers to Bayern, but it is only second spot which is up for grabs, but they can cement their hold on that today will three points and at least try to keep the leaders advantage down to double digits for as long as possible. Dortmund are averaging 3.33 at home in the Bundesliga and far more in all competitions, Stuttgart are strugling once more , having only missed relegation by two points last season, they have the worst defensive record in the Bundesliga and on the road where they were poor last season giving up 1.88 goals per game, they have gone from bad to worse and are now up to 2.67 pg and the loss of defensive midfielder Serey Die today is hardly going to help in that regard. He has sat out three games this season and Stuttgart have conceded 10 goals , at least three in each and those three opponents have only scored just about a goal per game in other starts, so the omens are not good. Last three wins for Dortmund in this h2h series have been 3-2.3-2 and 6-1 and something along similar lines today seems likely, Dortmund to score 3 + and probably concede. Stuttgart sacked coach Alexander Zorniger earlier this week and have an interim boss in charge, that could mean a change in fortune, but it usually only happens once the new permanent head coach arrives. 4-1 /5-1/ 5-2 feels about right and Dortmund have already won nine times this seaon in which they have scored three + goals and also conceded"
That did indeed end 4-1 and landed a double bet for us. Stuttgart remain with an interim boss, they have Die back , but travel without right back Florian Klein and right winger Martin Harnik and also forward Daniel Ginczek, that weakens them on that flank of course, all three played in Stuttgart's sole road win this season, with Ginczek assisting for two goals in a 3-1 win at Hannover. That was one, of what is so far, only two away victories for Die Roten in 2015 (67% loss rate) and they look up against it today, with Mainz looking for a third straight win and having scored ten goals in their last five starts. Hosts get a boost with the return to the squad of Fabian Frei after three months injured and that will increase competition for starting places. Mainz have won four of the last five home h2h meetings and a fifth looks overpriced at odds against.
Mainz -0.5 ball 2.13 asian line/Sportmarket