The clash between top 4 rivals Borussia Dortmund and Borussia M’gladbach will mark the start of the new German Bundesliga campaign and no doubts that both sides will want to enjoy a winning start. And with the Millionaires now a team in the making, it is die Fohlen who could have a small advantage at the moment.
The departure of long-serving manager Jurgen Klopp marked an end of a very successful era in club’s history that saw Borussia return to old glory days and earn very good reputation in both Germany and Europe. Former Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel appears to be the obvious replacement as he has also become famous for over-achievement, although he will not have an easy task of keeping the Millionaires in the European elite. The club officials again did a very good job, making sure all key players remained at Signal-Iduna Park, while also adding the likes of Roman Burki, Gonzalo Castro and Julian Weigl. Borussia fared pretty well in pre-season, defeating the likes of Juventus and Real Betis, among others, before winning the first three competitive fixtures of the season. And while they were always going to win games against Wolfsberger and Chemnitzer, those matches will keep them in good stead for the start of the Bundesliga campaign. These matches have seen Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Marco Reus continue the rich vein of form, while Tuchel must have been especially pleased to see Henrikh Mkhitaryan rediscover his form. The coach will be without Nuri Sahin, Neven Subotic, Erik Durm, Kevin Grosskreutz and Oliver Kirch, but he can still field a very strong line-up against Gladbach.
Many of you probably don’t even remember that Borussia M’gladbach were on the verge of getting relegated to the second division when Lucian Favre took over the reigns, and the Swiss manager has done so well since that he has to go down as one of the best coaches in club’s history. Some shrewd transfer dealings by the sporting department also helped, but it is the experienced tactician that led die Fohlen from the brink of relegation to Champions League in just few years. Borussia have now become regular in European competitions, but while they struggled to make it to Champions League group stages until recently, they have now achieved that goal as well having achieved a third-place finish in the previous Bundesliga campaign. Die Fohlen have since opted against making major changes to the playing squad, having only signed Lars Stindl, Josip Drmic and Andreas Christensen, while turning Thorgan Hazard’s loan deal into permanent move. Judging by the friendly wins over Standard, Porto and Newcastle as well as DFB Pokal triumph over St Pauli, Borussia seem ready to hit the ground running early on and they will give their best to win the top 4 six-pointer at Signal-Iduna Park. The visitors, too, have some important missings seeing as Havard Nordtveit is banned and Andre Hahn, Martin Stranzl and Alvaro Dominguez are out injured.
While Borussia Dortmund have done pretty well in the three competitive matches so far, Borussia M’gladbach have impressed in pre-season and they will be feeling confident ahead of the trip to Signal-Iduna Park. And with both sides pretty dangerous up front, backing both teams to score looks the right thing to do.
Verdict: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 4/5