Borussia Mönchengladbach host Bayern Munich on Saturday in a game which is notoriously difficult for the Bavarians, but this time things may be different.
Gladbach are going into this game in poor form. Since the restart of the season they have only won one game, beating Hoffenheim 3-1. In their past two games, they drew 0-0 with last-placed Schalke and collapsed late on in a 4-1 loss to Hertha Berlin last weekend.
Die Fohlen are a long way off where they should be and that is due to a variety of different reasons, but they have lacked attacking prowess since the return of the Bundesliga with the likes of Marcus Thuram struggling with injuries and a lack of form since his return from the World Cup. The defence has also lacked, with Jonas Omlin only keeping one clean sheet since his debut, but that can also be placed on the defenders in front of him also struggling. The only consistent defender for Gladbach in the new year has been Ko Itakura, who has picked up where he left off.
Julian Nagelsmann’s Bayern go into this game unbeaten in their last four. Last weekend they beat Bochum 3-0 before traveling to Paris, beating PSG 1-0 rather comfortably. After a poor start to the season, the Rekordmeister are finding their form once again but as always this game can prove to be a banana skin for Bayern, especially with the gap between them and second only being one point.
Why this game may not be a slip-up this time around is the fact Bayern signed Gladbach’s goalkeeper Yann Sommer in the summer. The Swiss international was the reason Bayern drew the previous game as he made a Bundesliga record 19 saves to keep out Bayern in the 1-1 draw back in September and the 34-year-old has been the reason Bayern have failed to beat Gladbach many times over the past couple of years.
For Gladbach, a win or a draw can give them the boost they need to escape the rut they currently find themselves in. However, the targets of Gladbach remain unknown as Daniel Farke recently stated Europe is not an option for Gladbach this season despite a strong start earlier on in the year.
Gladbach are unbeaten against Bayern in five games and drew in the first meeting between these two teams after taking the lead through Thuram before Leroy Sané equalised late on for Bayern, which brought to an end Bayern’s winning streak at the start of the season before going on a winless run of four games.
GGFN | Jack Meenan