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Bundesliga: Bayern Munich vs Borussia Monchengladbach Preview

Be it LOSC Lille’s inspirational underdog story in France, Chelsea’s improbable triumph in Europe or Atletico Madrid’s victory in Spain – the established status quo has changed in international football over the last year or so.

But amid all changes, one aspect remains perennial – Bayern Munich’s dominance in Germany. The Bavarians have won the previous nine editions of the Bundesliga, and given the current league standings of the 2021/22 season, they seem all set to lift the coveted trophy for the tenth consecutive time.

Julian Nagelsmann’s team are occupying pole position, have secured the most wins, suffered the least defeats, scored the most goals and have conceded the fewest. Everything hints at a comprehensive victory in their next assignment against Borussia Monchengladbach, but it will not be as easy, since they will miss half of their squad due to a plethora of reasons, COVID-19 being the primary one.

Borussia Monchengladbach, on the other hand, have not finished in the bottom half of the standings in the last ten seasons, but they will need to get their act together if they want their record to remain intact.

Having won only five of their seventeen matches, they are placed at the 14th position. The defence has been Monchengladbach’s Achilles’ heel, since they have conceded 32 goals already, with only RB Leipzig and Greuther Furth having a worse defensive record.

 

BAYERN MUNICH IN BUNDESLIGA SO FAR THIS SEASON

Despite losing their manager, Hansi Flick to the German national football team, Bayern Munich have continued their dominance in this competition. They are sitting comfortably at the top of the table, having secured 43 points from 17 matches, while second-placed Borussia Dortmund only have 34 points in their account.

The Bavarians started with a 1-1 stalemate against Borussia Monchengladbach, but they followed it up with a five-game winning streak. Eintracht Frankfurt got the better of them in their seventh fixture, but they bounced back once again by winning their next four fixtures.

FC Augsburg handed them their second defeat of the season back in November, but since then, Julian Nagelsmann’s side has registered five consecutive victories, where they have scored 15 goals and have conceded only three.

 

PREDICTED LINEUP AND TACTICS AGAINST BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH

Julian Nagelsmann will not have a hard time selecting his starting XI for this match, not because he will have all of his first-choice players available, but because he hardly has around eleven fit players to work with, as Bayern Munich’s camp has been rocked by increasing COVID-19 cases.

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer; defenders Dayot Upamecano, Omar Richards, Tanguy Nianzou and Lucas Hernandez; attackers Leroy Sane and Kingsley Coman; and midfielder Corentin Tolisso comprises the list of eight Bayern footballers who have returned a positive diagnosis for the virus. Besides them, Nagelsmann will also miss Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Bouna Sarr, who have joined their national camps for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.

The Bavarians are likely to line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Benjamin Pavard playing as a makeshift centre-back with Joshua Kimmich, who recently recovered from COVID-19, operating as a left-back. Having recovered from his foot injury, Leon Goretzka is likely to pair up with Marcel Sabitzer at the centre of the park, while Jamal Musiala is expected to be deployed on the left-wing.

Probable Playing XI (4-2-3-1): Sven Ulreich; Joshua Kimmich, Benjamin Pavard, Niklas Sule, Alphonso Davies; Leon Goretzka, Marcel Sabitzer; Serge Gnabry, Thomas Muller, Jamal Musiala; Robert Lewandowski.

 

BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH IN BUNDESLIGA SO FAR THIS SEASON

Unlike Bayern Munich, Borussia Monchengladbach have struggled to get accustomed to the philosophy and playing style of their new manager, Adi Hutter, following the departure of Marco Rose. With only 19 points from 17 fixtures, the Foals are currently struggling in the fourteenth position in the standings.

Monchengladbach started their season on a positive note, restricting reigning champions Bayern Munich to a draw, but it was followed up with back-to-back defeats against Bayer Leverkusen and Union Berlin.

Three wins in their next four fixtures got their campaign back on track, but they were derailed once again when they won only one of their next four encounters. A comprehensive 4-0 triumph against Greuther Furth could have sparked a resurgence, but instead, things have only gone downhill ever since.

Hutter’s team has lost four of their last five matches – against 1. FC Koln, SC Freiburg, RB Leipzig and Eintracht Frankfurt, while against 1899 Hoffenheim, they could only secure a point.

 

PREDICTED LINEUPS AND TACTICS AGAINST BAYERN MUNICH

Though they have not been hit as severely as their opposition, the virus has not spared Borussia Monchengladbach’s camp either. The Foals currently have four positive cases in the squad in defenders Mamadou Doucoure and Joe Scally, midfielder Denis Zakaria and forward Keanan Bennetts.

Barring the quartet, Adi Hutter will also miss Jonas Hofmann due to a knee injury, while Jordan Beyer is yet to recover from his tendon injury. We can expect the German manager to field a 4-3-3 formation for this match.

Teen sensation Luca Netz will get a chance to justify the hype around him as he is likely to take up Scally’s place in defence, while in Zakaria’s absence, Kouadio Kone is expected to get a chance at the centre of the park. Further up on the pitch, Patrick Hermann is likely to form the attacking trio alongside Breel Embolo and Marcus Thuram.

Predicted Playing XI (4-3-3): Yann Sommer; Stefan Lainer, Matthias Ginter, Nico Elvedi, Luca Netz; Christoph Kramer, Lars Stindl, Kouadio Kone; Patrick Hermann, Breel Embolo, Marcus Thuram.

 

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