Will Christian Pulisic (c.) and Borussia Dortmund have the upper hand against Darmstadt? James 'The Coach' is confident they will. - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA
Will Christian Pulisic (c.) and Borussia Dortmund have the upper hand against Darmstadt? James 'The Coach' is confident they will. - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA

The Coach: Three favourable fixtures on Matchday 20

Anybody have 21-point monster Kyriakos Papadopoulos in their Official Fantasy Bundesliga squad on Matchday 19? Yeah, me neither unfortunately! I did, however, manage to bounce back from a dismal Matchday 18 by hitting triple digits at the weekend.

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That’s the minimum requirement again on Matchday 20 and, while midweek DFB Cup fixtures make squad selection a little trickier, here are three fixtures that I’m confident will help me hit that target.

SV Darmstadt 98 vs Borussia Dortmund

Let’s not beat around the bush. Darmstadt are currently not at their best and playing host to a Borussia Dortmund side out to prove a point is the last thing Torsten Frings’ charges need right now. The Lilies are six points adrift at the foot of the table and will be desperate to avoid a repeat of their 6-0 drubbing from Matchday 3. BVB take on Hertha Berlin in the DFB Cup Round of 16, but their strength in depth will serve them well in coping with a loaded schedule.

Watch: Highlights of Dortmund's victory over Leipzig on Matchday 19:


Player recommendations

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Marc Bartra (DF, 93pts, 10.95M): Averages over 13 challenges won a game and has scored double digits in five of his nine starts this season. A must-have at this price.

Marco Reus (MF, 49pts, 14.45M): Darmstadt are one of just two Bundesliga sides Reus is yet to score against and I can see that changing this weekend with a big points return.


RB Leipzig vs Hamburger SV

Leipzig suffered a third loss of the season against Dortmund last time out, but have successfully bounced back to winning ways following their previous two defeats. I’m expecting them to continue that trend, especially as they’re on home soil where they’ve picked up 25 of a possible 27 points. Hamburg may have been buoyed beating Leverkusen last weekend, but an added midweek fixture could prove costly against their dynamic hosts.

Player recommendations

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Marcel Halstenberg (DF, 149pts, 10.4M): Leipzig’s left-back is a truly reliable source of points and poses a threat in the final third to compliment his defensive qualities.

Timo Werner (FW, 142pts, 12.25M): Is expected to return to the fold and, having registered double digits in five of his last nine appearances, is well worth considering as a transfer candidate.

VfL Wolfsburg vs TSG 1899 Hoffenheim

Just when I thought Wolfsburg had found their feet, they go and suffer back-to-back defeats to Augsburg and Köln. They’re arguably one of the most unpredictable teams in the current campaign and not in a good way. Meanwhile, Hoffenheim’s 4-0 win over Mainz provided an emphatic answer to the question of how they’d respond to a first loss of the season. A similar performance on Sunday and they won’t have much trouble dispatching Wolfsburg.

Player recommendations

Kerem Demirbay (MF, 108pts, 3.6M): For me he’s been the best bargain buy this season, winning an average of over 12 challenges and having a hand in seven goals.

Mark Uth (FW, 82pts, 9.1M): Sandro who? Uth racked up 12 points in Wagner’s absence against Mainz, scored the opener and had the most shots of any player (seven).

You’ve got plenty of options at your disposal this weekend so make the most of the three free transfers!

Never tactics bored,


Watch: The standout players from Matchday 19: