Verdict: Total goals over 3.5
Best odds: 4/5
Borussia Dortmund resume their Bundesliga campaign following the international break with a home fixture against Borussia Monchengladbach at the Signal Iduna Park on Saturday.
The team led by Edin Terzic will be hoping that the break will have done good for the players, helping them reset and rejuvenate their performances after a challenging period of form. Meanwhile, Gladbach find themselves situated in middle of the table and will be looking to make progress by getting something from this game.
Dortmund started the season strongly, keeping up with Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga for a while. However, their form has taken a downturn lately, securing only one point from three league matches before the international break, consequently distancing them from contention for the title.
Despite their recent struggles, Dortmund are still performing marginally better compared to the same stage last season, when they ended up losing the title on goal-difference. They had a setback when their 17-game unbeaten league run ended with a heavy 4-0 defeat at home against Bayern Munich, followed by another defeat against Stuttgart in their last match.
Upcoming fixtures present a tough challenge for Terzic’s side. After Gladbach, it’s Leverkusen and RB Leipzig successively in the Bundesliga, but before that, they’ll play against AC Milan in the Champions League. Nevertheless, Dortmund’s home performances have been a consistent source of points, with their loss to Bayern being the only defeat at home in 2023 across all competitions.
The team swiftly bounced back from the Bayern defeat by securing a 2-0 victory against Newcastle United, securing their position at the top of their challenging Champions League group.
Goalkeeper Gregor Kobel is racing against time to regain fitness after being sent home early from the Switzerland camp due to a muscular injury. Alexander Meyer is expected to step in if need be. Additionally, Dortmund will miss the services of Felix Nmecha, who sustained a hip injury in the match against Stuttgart, forcing him out of the Germany squad.
Apart from these absences, Mateu Morey and Julien Duranville remain sidelined for Dortmund. However, there is a possibility of captain Emre Can making a return from a thigh injury.
Borussia Monchengladbach had a disappointing 10th-place finish last season and haven’t enjoyed an ideal start to the current campaign either.
There has been significant improvement for Borussia Monchengladbach recently, especially after a sluggish start to the season where they managed only two points from their opening five games, which was basically a level of form leading towards relegation. However, they’ve made a commendable climb in the standings, currently sitting in ninth place and are merely six points away from European qualification spots as they head into the upcoming weekend fixture.
A pivotal factor in their resurgence has been their potency in front of goal, notably scoring three or more goals in three consecutive matches – a feat not achieved previously under Gerardo Seoane’s management. Their momentum was further boosted by an impressive 4-0 victory over Wolfsburg just before the break, showcasing the positive signs they had displayed in the weeks leading up to that match.
Despite the improvements, Borussia Monchengladbach faced a setback in their match against Freiburg, where they surrendered a 3-1 lead and were denied a victory due to Vincenzo Grifo’s injury-time penalty, settling for just a point.
Die Fohlen face a growing injury list with the absence of goalkeeper Jonas Omlin due to a shoulder issue, along with defensive players Ko Itakura (ankle) and Tony Jantschke (hamstring). Omlin has been sidelined since August, indicating that backup goalkeeper Moritz Nicolas is likely to continue in goal.
Furthermore, Hannes Wolf’s absence due to a knee injury has provided an opportunity for Rocco Reitz to solidify his place in the squad. Reitz showcased his impact by scoring in the recent win against Wolfsburg and continued his form by netting twice for Germany’s Under-21s against Estonia last week.
In more uplifting news, Stefan Lainer has returned to training after successfully navigating through his battle with cancer over the past few months.
Dortmund have been a nightmare host for Gladbach in recent years, having beaten their namesake club in each of their last 10 encounters at the Signal Iduna Park. Given what we’ve seen from Seoane’s team this season, with the obvious exception of the thrashing of Wolfsburg, there’s very little to suggest that streak could come to an end on Saturday.
Dortmund are therefore strong favourites to win, and even the odds of 2/5 on a home win by Olympusbet don’t seem too short. Given that Gladbach have also shown attacking potential in recent matches, the odds on both teams scoring are also set at 2/5, so if you’re looking for something with a little bit more to gain, you might consider the game seeing a total of at least four goals.
Verdict: Total goals over 3.5
Best odds: 4/5
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