Bayern Munich began their bid for a record fifth consecutive domestic title by destroying Werder Bremen 6-0 with frightening ease before the international break to immediately take up top spot in the Bundesliga. They covered the Asian Handicap line of -2.5 landing us a profit.
Now under the tutelage of Carlo Ancelotti, the Bavarians kept their 100% record intact for 2016/17 following a 2-0 Super Cup success against Dortmund and a 5-0 rout of Carl Zeiss Jena in the DFB Pokal.
Next up is a potentially tricky trip to Schalke on Friday night but FC Hollywood haven’t lost to the Royal Blues since 2010 with their last 11 league fixtures returning nine victories by an aggregate of 31-5 in favour of Bayern, making the visitors prime candidates to overcome pre-match Asian Handicap hurdles.
Indeed, since Manuel Neuer left Gelsenkirchen for Munich, he’s never lost to his former side and all nine triumphs in that time have been recorded by at least a two-goal margin – that includes four of their last five trips to the Veltins Arena.
Last season the Bavarians clocked 42 points from a possible 48 on their travels, shipping just nine goals. The champions went an extraordinary W82-D11-L9 in Bundesliga battles under Pep Guardiola and if we ignore their final seven games of each of those three campaigns – by which time the league was pretty much wrapped up– that record improves to an incredible W68-D9-L4 with just 39 goals conceded (0.48 goals-per-game) and 50 (62%) wins by more than one goal.
Bayern are rated a 1.92 shot to overcome the -1.5 Asian Handicap hurdle here and it should be achievable considering how Schalke opened their campaign under new head coach Markus Weinzierl.
Schalke To Suffer
The Royal Blues were fortunate to only suffer a 1-0 reverse to Eintracht Frankfurt despite being dominated for large swatches of the encounter. And Weinzierl will no doubt be concerned by the fact his side have failed to keep their sheets clean in the league since February.
Schalke were far too passive against Frankfurt and although they did wake up to create a couple of decent opportunities, Chelsea-loanee Michael Hector was sent off for the second time in as many games and Schalke’s defensive options again look a little stretched.
The summer saw the Gelsenkirchen group sell hot-shot Leroy Sane for big money to Manchester City but arguably more worrisome was the loss of first-choice centre-backs Joel Matip and Roman Neustadter. Naldo has been brought in to plug the gaps alongside suspended Hector as the Royal Blues hope to quell a leaky backline that shipped 49 goals in 2015/16 – the equal-second most in the top-half of the league.
The hosts recorded just three shutouts at the Veltins Arena last term and although talented youngsters Leon Goretzka, Johannes Geis, Max Meyer and Breel Embolo offer hope in the midfield and attacking ranks, a defence that looks weaker than last season is likely to be severely tested here.
Asian Handicap Angle
Bayern’s outstanding record across the past few campaigns is reason enough to believe Ancelotti’s team can stamp their authority on this Friday night clash. The visitors have W11-D6-L3 at top-six teams with nine triumphs by at least a two-goal margin.
Across the same sample, Schalke have W8-D4-L8 when welcoming top-six opposition with five of those reveres by two goals or more – as already mentioned, three of those convincing defeats came against the Bavarians.
With that in mind, backing Bayern to beat the -1.5 Asian Handicap looks our best port of call.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Bayern Munich -1.5 at 1.92
Prices correct at time of writing.
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