Augsburg vs. Bayer Leverkusen Free Bundesliga Soccer Pick: Value Found in this Must-See Clash

Nikki Adams

Friday, February 20, 2015 5:01 PM GMT

Friday, Feb. 20, 2015 5:01 PM GMT

Augsburg & Bayer Leverkusen collide in a pivotal Bundesliga clash this weekend that would go a long way towards the pair's respective top ambitions. Check inside our betting preview and soccer pick.

Augsburg The Surprise Package
Last season, Football Club Augsburg (FCA) were the surprise package in the Top Ten of Bundesliga's top-flight. Finishing in eighth place with a 15-7-12 record and 52 points, the Fuggerstädter performed well above preseason expectations to the chagrin of all and sundry. Twenty-one rounds into this season and...would you believe it...they are sat pretty in fifth place behind an 11-1-9 record and 34 points. It's a way to the finish line yet, but they've set a pace that has them enjoying a banner season so far, possibly even finishing on a sought after spot in either of Europe's club competitions.

Most recently, Augsburg succumbed to a narrow 3-2 loss to Werder Bremen. Their first defeat since coming off the winter break in February. They opened the second half of the season with a convincing 3-1 win over Hoffenheim at home and, immediately afterwards, defeated a struggling Borussia Dortmund 1-0 on the road. Eintracht Frankfurt were the first to take points off Augsburg this side of the season with a 2-2 draw at SGL Arena in week 20 Bundesliga betting, a week before Werder Bremen rendered Augburg pointless.

The last two rounds have been a letdown for the Fuggerstädter, which has prompted some soccer bettors to contemplate the possibility reality may be setting in for this group of overachievers, conspicuously short on star power. The key to their success has been an exemplary team ethos, fighting spirit and discipline. Qualities that have been evident nowhere more so than at home where they've suffered just two losses this season (7-1-2) and scored 22 goals all while conceding 14. (The only teams to beat Augsburg were Bayern Munich (was there any doubt?) and Borussia Dortmund.)

Speaking of home form...every cloud...they are riding a two-game unbeaten streak at home, which augurs well for their date with Bayer Leverkusen, amongst other things. For punters this correlates to meriting consideration about a soccer pick on Augsburg. It's worth noting, Bookies aren't buying what they are selling (the hosts are matched at +225 soccer odds to win outright and at even larger +240 soccer odds to draw), but Die Fuggerstädter should fancy their chances to clinch a point, if not maximum points.  

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Bayer Leverkusen Disappoint By Their Standards
Bayer Leverkusen have disappointed so far by their lofty standards, down in sixth place behind an 8-8-5 record and 32 points. One of last season's Top 4, Bayer Leverkusen have struggled conspicuously this term. The pressure of balance multiple campaigns, namely Champions League, an obvious challenge.

Bayer Leverkusen have just one win since coming off the winter break (1-1-2), a run of form that includes back-to-back losses: a 2-1 loss to Werder Bremen (away) and whopping 5-4 loss to Wolfsburg at home. The latter of which saw Bayer fall behind 0-3 by halftime before valiantly rallying in the second half and drawing level 4-4, only to have the draw cruelly denied by a last gasp goal in stoppage time. It was a bitter blow, but Bayer should be encouraged by the gutsy effort, the brilliant fight back they showed.

Heading to Augsburg, Bayer will be looking to bounce back to winning form. They'll need to be mindful however of their upcoming Champions League date, the first leg of their tie with Atletico Madrid, which takes place a few days later at BayArena. Manager Roger Schmidt has to share the realism about his chances against last year's runners-up and reigning Spanish champions; not for nothing are the soccer odds stacked against Bayer in the home leg of their tie.

 

Soccer Betting Tips and Picks
Both teams are coming off some shaky performances in the last few weeks, which could be down to a spot of rust – it's a generous winter break Bundesliga affords it's clubs. There's also the fact that they've play four fixtures in the space of a fortnight, which is a jolt to the system after a month of loafing about. In any event, it sets up a level playing field as far as current form is concerned, underscored by their proximity in the Bundesliga table.

Where Augsburg have the edge as the value soccer pick is home form, plus the freedom to focus on this clash in order to secure all three points. Of course, Bayer will be keen to keep pace in Bundesliga, but they'll also want to give themselves a chance to capitalise on home advantage against Atletico Madrid. In all likelihood, Schmidt isn't going to risk too much in this clash.

Soccer Picks: Augsburg +225 to win

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