Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Prediction: Borussia Monchengladbach vs Bayern Munich

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 17 Feb 2023


Verdict: Total away goals over 2.5

Best odds: 23/25

Bookmaker: Unibet

Borussia Monchengladbach will be welcoming perpetual champions Bayern Munich to the Borussia-Park on Saturday afternoon, for what will be a match of the 21st round of the ongoing season in the Bundesliga.

Needless to say, there’s plenty riding on this game for both sides – both could do with fresh three points as they strive to accomplish their respective goals between now and the end of the season.

Borussia Monchengladbach

Gladbach enjoyed excellent domestic seasons in 2018/19 and 2019/20, finishing the latter in the top four and qualifying for the Champions League. However, after that they quickly went back to being an average, mid-table side in the German top flight – still very respectable, but not really top class.

That’s where they are now, sitting 10th at the moment with 26 points to their name, the same as FC Koln and Mainz 05 in 11th and 12th, respectively, but also just one point less than Werder Bremen in ninth and Bayer Leverkusen in eighth, four less than Wolfsburg in seventh, and nine less than Eintracht Frankfurt in sixth. Europe seems far away, but with a long way to go until the end of the season, it’s certainly reachable if they can get some consistency into their performances.

Right now, any kind of positive form would be most welcome for Daniel Farke’s team, with their last-six run consisting of one win, one draw and four defeats. They first lost 0-1 at home to St. Pauli, then 2-3 at home to Leverkusen, then 1-0 away to Augsburg, before finally finding some strength within themselves to beat Hoffenheim 1-4 away. Then they played a goalless draw at home against last-place Schalke 04, and eventually let the full scale of their problems see the light of day as Hertha walked all over them at the Olimpia Stadion in Berlin, 4-1.

Borussia actually took the lead in that game, with Nico Elvedi breaking the deadlock in the 17th minute, but Jessic Ngankam equalized with half an hour gone. Marton Dardai struck another one for the Berliners seven minutes after the break, and instead of finding an equalizer, Gladbach conceded two more in injury time, one to Derry Scherhant, and the other to Dodi Lukebakio from the spot.

Team News

The one piece of good news for Farke ahead of the Bayern visit is that the former Norwich City boss has the full squad at his disposal – no injuries or suspensions. With that in mind, he’s likely to change at least one thing compared to the lineup which lost so convincingly to Hertha.

Jonas Omlin will be in goal. The back line will probably consist of Nico Elvedi and Ko Ikatura as the centre-backs, Joe Scally on the right, and Ramy Bensebaini, who has recovered from illness, on the left. Julian Weigl should come into the midfield and play alongside Manu Kone. Captain Lars Stindl might make way for Alassane Plea on the left wing for the team to have more pace for counterattacks, and with Hannes Wolf on the right and Jonas Hoffmann in the ’10’ role, Marcus Thuram should be the man to lead the attacking line again.

Bayern Munich

Bayern are doing their usual business on the pitch, there can be no doubts about that. They unsurprisingly top the table with 43 points, though the fact that they’re being followed closely by Union Berlin on 42 is a bit unexpected. Borussia Dortmund, usually the team to present the greatest challenge to the Bavarians, are third with 40. Time will tell if we’re in for an exciting title race in the Bundesliga this time; no doubt a welcome change for the neutrals.

Having won Group C in the Champions League, Bayern have put one foot into the quarterfinals by beating Paris Saint-Germain in the French capital in the first leg of their round-of-16 encounter, courtesy of a solitary striker from former PSG youngster, Kingsley Coman. The second leg will take on 8 March in Munich.

Bayern’s last-six run in all competitions began with a pair of 1-1 draws, which were actually a part of a four-game streak. They shared the spoils at home with both Koln and Eintracht, before returning to winning ways through a 0-4 triumph away to Mainz, a 2-4 win away to Wolfsburg, a 3-0 home victory over VfL Bochum, and a 0-1 win away to PSG in the Champions League this week.

Off the pitch, however, things haven’t exactly been great for Bayern lately. Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, a legend of the club, recently revealed strong feelings about goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic, his close friend, being relieved of duty.

“It felt like my heart was being ripped out,” Neuer said in an interview with Raphael Honigstein for The Athletic.

The ill-advised words have expectedly put a strain on Neuer’s relationship with the people making decisions at the club, and he reportedly faces a hefty fine which should force him to weigh his thoughts out carefully before going public in the future.

Be that as it may, Neuer’s actions don’t affect the situation on the pitch at the moment, due to the 36-year-old being out of action for the rest of the season – he broke his leg on a ski trip while on vacation.

Team News

Learning of Neuer’s misfortune, Bayern wasted no time in securing a suitable replacement, and faced with problems over the proposed recall of Alexander Nubel from his season-long loan at AS Monaco, they decisively moved for Yann Sommer, snatching the Switzerland No.1 from their opponents in this clash for a reported fee of €8million. It was a similar situation with the acquisition of fullback Joao Cancelo on loan from Manchester City, with Lucas Hernandez probably out for the season as well.

Apart from Neuer and Hernandez, coach Julian Nagelsmann cannot call upon forward Sadio Mane (knee) and fullback Noussair Mazraoui (muscle).

Sommer is, of course, the undisputed first choice for the role between the posts at the moment. Cancelo and Alphonso Davies are expected to flank Dayot Upamecano and Matthijs de Ligt at the back. Leon Goretzka should pair up with Joshua Kimmich in the middle of the park, and the trio of Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry and Thomas Muller is likely to support striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting upfront.


With their inconsistencies painfully obvious in recent matches, it’s hard to imagine Galdbach posing a proper challenge for Bayern as they move into the business end of the season. Anything but a comfortable win for the visitors would obviously be a big surprise.

Verdict: Total away goals over 2.5

Best odds: 23/25

Bookmaker: Unibet


Veselin Trajkovic

Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.



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