Monchengladbach v Bayern – Borussia-Park AT 14:30 GMT
Borussia Monchengladbach are enjoying their longest run at the top of the Bundesliga table since they last won the title in 1976/77 but on Saturday afternoon Marco Rose’s pace-setters arguably face their most daunting test of the season so far – a home tie against defending champions Bayern Munich.
Gladbach come into the clash ahead of the Bavarians in the league standings for the first time since 1997, enjoying a four-point cushion ahead of the crucial showdown at Borussia-Park. With goals in abundance, to go with watertight defences, it promises to be a pulsating encounter with the hosts undervalued.
Gladbach’s tried and trusted approach
Rose took over in the summer and has the Foals dreaming of a first title in over 40 years. He has adopted the same 4-3-3 formation that produced back-to-back titles wins with Red Bull Salzburg but twice has he diverged from that tried-and-trusted method to a 4-2-3-1 and a rare 3-5-2 against Leipzig and Leverkusen.
Such moves suggest Rose opts for change in supposedly bigger games. However, the 43-year-old looks to have settled on a flat back four, shielded by two hard-running central midfielders, who allow the third man in the middle greater freedom. Gladbach are now a well-oiled machine in their preferred system.
In Christoph Kramer, Denis Zakaria, Florian Neuhaus and Laszlo Benes, Rose has four midfield options who are comfortable on the ball. In the centre of defence, he also has Nico Elvedi, who boasts the best passing accuracy in the league. That youthful core provides the base for the team’s flamboyant forwards.
Marcus Thuram, Breel Embolo, Alassane Plea and stalwart Patrick Herrmann have all chipped in with at least four goals this league campaign. All four rotate positions, with summer signing Thuram the only member of the quartet to play over 80 per cent of minutes in 2019/20. The team have quality across the park.
Foals a force at home
A key to Gladbach’s table-topping form has been their home form. The Foals have been galloping around Borussia-Park like they own the place this season, winning a league-best 16 points from a possible 21. The hosts have smashed 16 goals here in their last four and will be confident of enhancing that tally here.
Because Bayern generally don’t enjoy their visits to the far northwest of Germany. Their 20 Bundesliga defeats at Gladbach is more than at any other club in the division, while they average just 1.10 points per-game at Borussia-Park, which is their worst return against any team they’ve visited at least five times.
So it’s surprising to see Bayern so skinny in the pre-match markets. I’m amazed to see Gladbach can be backed at 1.80 with a +1.25 start on the Asian Handicap line considering Rose’s outfit are neck-and-neck with the Bavarians across all the major underlying performance data metrics in 2019/20.
Backing this selection would see us make money should the home team win, draw, or even lose by a solitary strike. The only way our stake would be lost is if Bayern were winners by two goals or more –the guests have only W7-D3-L6 in their last 16 trips to top-six teams – and so are easily opposed.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Borussia Monchengladbach +1.25 at 1.800
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.