Bayer Leverkusen v Borussia Monchengladbach – BayArena at 17:30 live on BT Sport 1
All good things come to an end and likewise, all records are finally broken. Last Saturday, Borussia Monchengladbach deservedly became the first time to beat Bayern Munich before the winter break in the Pep Guardiola era.
The Foals were worthy winners but didn’t take a lead until Oscar Wendt’s superbly crafted strike in the 54th minute. Borussia then finished their all-conquering visitors off with two more counterattacking moves in the space of 14 minutes before a consolation from the Bavarians in the dying embers.
Andre Schubert’s men were rewarded for their courage and application with the head coach switching to a 3-5-2 system and taking on the defending champions headfirst. It was the first time in nearly five years that Gladbach had lined up in that formation but you’d never have known.
It’s been a sensational start to life under Schubert’s watch with Saturday’s guests now unbeaten in 10 league fixtures under the head coach (W8-D2-L0) – no side has picked up as many points or scored as many goals (29) across those 10 fixtures.
And should the Foals pick up maximum points at Leverkusen this weekend, Schubert will become only the third Bundesliga boss to claim 29 points from his first 11 games in charge – the feat was previously managed by Pep Guardiola and Klaus Toppmöller. Impressive, eh?
Gladbach were beaten 4-2 at Manchester City on Tuesday but Andre Schubert’s troops put in another excellent display and deservedly took plenty of plaudits. They’ll relish their return to domestic duties with the added distraction of continental competition now brushed aside.
Raffael been rejuvenated – playing a role in 14 of the goals under his new boss – and I’d expect the guests to give Bayer a serious test on Saturday. With Leverkusen leaking 20 goals across their last 11 and being hugely reliant upon Javier Hernandez’s goals (nine in 11), we just have to oppose the hosts.
Roger Schmidt will take charge of his 50th Bundesliga match this weekend but after midweek Champions League disappointment, questions are beginning to be asked about the progress made under Leverkusen chief.
Die Werkself impressed many last season in their debut campaign under Schmidt despite finishing fourth. But their 2015/16 efforts are falling below expectations and bordering on the line of unacceptability.
A victory over a vastly understrength Barcelona side in midweek would have secured their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League but Bayer could only manage a 1-1 draw. It’s now just one win in eight for Leverkusen.
Not since 2006 have the hosts picked up fewer points at this stage of the season and their 19-goal tally is the lowest it’s been after 15 games since 1991. The home side have lost each of their last five against top-five rivals and although they’ve lost just three in 28 at the BayArena in Bundesliga action, they’re just far too vulnerable to consider at almost even-money quotes.
Wendell’s return at left-back bolsters their attacking options but with midfield screen Lars Bender still absent, a Gladbach side that’s notched at least three goals in each of their last four on the road on domestic duty should have plenty of joy.
With that in mind, snapping up 1.95 on the Foals with a +0.50 Asian Handicap start looks just the ticket on Sunday evening. We’ll be paid out if the visitors continue their unbeaten Bundesliga streak under Schubert.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Borussia Monchengladbach +0.50 at 1.95
Prices correct at the time of writing.
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