Borussia Monchengladbach v Bayern Munich
Borussia Monchengladbach v Bayern Munich; Sun October 26, 16:30 in the biggest Bundesliga game of the season so far, with the hosts unbeaten in all competitions……
They lie just four points adrift of the leaders Bayern Munich. If we are to have anything approaching a competitive title race in Germany’s top flight, Gladbach really do need to pick up a positive result, especially with Bayern’s traditional nemeses Borussia Dortmund so far off the pace.
Lucien Favre’s Foals have done a terrific job this season. Summer signings like keeper Yann Sommer, utility player Fabian Johnson and winger Andre Hahn have all settled in well.
Gladbach are rattling in plenty of goals, and Thursday 5-0 Europa League thrashing of Apollon Limassol took their tally to 30 goals in 14 games. Although last season’s top scorer Raffael isn’t firing on all cylinders just yet, the goals are flowing from elsewhere.
Six different players have found the back of the net in the first eight Bundesliga games of the campaign. After missing the first few matches with illness, Max Kruse has quickly rediscovered his best form, and has scored five goals in his last six league games.
Bayern were jaw-droppingly sensational against Roma in the Champions League in midweek, and their 7-1 victory at the Stadio Olimpico was surely their best performance since Pep Guardiola took the reins.
Guardiola’s Bayern have been accused of being too indirect in their approach at times, with too much of a focus on keeping the ball rather than doing anything with it, but the Bavarians were back to their ruthless best on Tuesday.
Bayern went for the jugular, and Roma could find no way to stem the bleeding before it was too late, as Bayern went 5-0 up in the first 36 minutes and have now scored 24 goals in their last six matches, and that period they have conceded just one goal.
That’s the size of the challenge that faces Gladbach, but I think they are a strong enough side to give Bayern a sterner test than Roma did. It’s tempting to back Gladbach +1.0 & +1.5 on the Asian Handicap at 1.99 but I’m conscious of the fact that if Bayern hit top form as they did in midweek, even Favre’s unbeaten side won’t be able to stop them.
Instead, I’m leaning towards backing Both Teams To Score at 1.84. That price wouldn’t be so big in many Bundesliga games, and it may have been inflated by the teams’ defensive records.
Bayern have the best rearguard in the top flight (two goals conceded), while Gladbach have the second-best (four goals conceded). That said, I think Gladbach will have to go for it. If they try to dig in and allow Bayern to have the ball for long spells, there’s only one outcome.
Gladbach have only failed to score twice all season, and although Bayern’s defending has improved this term, there are still gaps to be exploited by the home side’s talented attack.
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