German league, the Bundesliga has always been a sorry affair with the big team from Munich always ending up with the top position at the end. But this time around almost every league in Europe has been a bit different. Now we at BallThatMatters know that this has been said countless times before this season. But we can assure you that this time around the current European champions, the best team in the world won’t have their dinner served on the plate. This fact was verified by Bayern’s recent slump of form. Two clubs that have always been on the tails of the champions are the high flying Dortmund and Mönchengladbach. Now, M’Gladbach hosts Borussia Dortmund, as two of Germany’s five best teams face off at Borussia Park.
Their season has been a weird sail. A complete fiasco. They advanced from the group stage of the champions league for the first time and have even defeated Munich in an upset 3-2 win but currently, they sit at 7th position on the table, 11 points adrift. A top 4 finish right now is the make or break of their season.
Marcus Thuram is not yet back from his six-game suspension on the left-wing, and midfielder Denis Zakaria has barely played full 90-minute games since returning from injury. Because of this, M’Gladbach’s underlying xG numbers are worse by about two-tenths of a goal per 90 minutes compared to last season. While their attack quality is questionable they have been a poor defensive side as well, owing to that to their goalkeeper Yan Sommer who has been dismal.
Always known as the second-best club of Germany. This team is filled with young guns who are firing on all cylinders. Spearheaded by the generational young talent Erling Haland who has come back from injury. Dortmund’s midfield inefficiency was put to show in their last 2-1 defeat to Leverkusen as BVB’s midfield struggled to press its foe efficiently and gave their runners too much time and space to get in behind the defense.
Dortmund, like Gladbach, is underperforming its xG numbers and with some better luck could actually be in the title race with Bayern Munich. The problem is that it had too many flukey results, like against Mainz on Jan. 10 and bad performances like this week’s earlier performance
Player to watch out for
He scores goals, and he scores a lot of goals. So he’s the obvious pick for the player to watch out for. If he’s given enough time and space, he’ll shoot, and more often than not. His shots result in goals.
In the absence of Embolo and Thuram, the burden of goalscoring falls on the able shoulders of Plea. He hasn’t been able to replicate his previous seasons but he’ll be out there to make a mark.
Based on the attacking talents in both the team an assumption can be made that this will be a very open game. Let’s just hope it turns out that way. We say: Borussia Monchengladbach 2-1 Borussia Dortmund
Based on recent form this looks like the likely outcome, but we never know. This is football.
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