Preview: Borussia Monchengladbach VS Borussia Dortmund, A Race for Champions League spots
Borussia Monchengladbach host Borussia Dortmund at Borussia-Park on Friday in their next Bundesliga game, with the hosts able to move above their forthcoming opponents into fourth place in the table with a victory.
Dortmund currently hold the advantage for the race, sitting fourth, but they are only one point clear of seventh-placed Gladbach after 17 games.
Borussia Dortmund’s season is in danger of unravelling and another defeat at Monchengladbach would all but extinguish any lingering hopes of claiming the Bundesliga title.
And Marco Rose’s men are one of the form teams in Germany’s top flight, having recovered from a December slump to post four wins and a draw in their last five games.
Having failed to win five of their eight league games this season, Gladbach’s home match against Werder Bremen on Tuesday very much felt like a must-win if Marco Rose’s side are to sustain a serious challenge for the top four positions once again this season.
— Gladbach (@borussia_en) January 21, 2021
While Gladbach were beating Bremen, Dortmund lost some ground in the title race, with yet another defeat. Bayer Leverkusen were the latest team to beat Dortmund, winning 2-1 on Tuesday, adding to what has been a strange season.
Under both Lucien Favre and Edin Terzic, Dortmund haven’t really been able to get a run of form going, only managing to string a four-game unbeaten streak once. They were three before defeat to Leverkusen, which had pushed them back into the top four and included a win over RB Leipzig. However, they are now dangerously close to dropping out once again.
In 27 head-to-head encounters between the two sides, Borussia Dortmund hold the clear advantage. They have won 20 games, lost four and drawn three.
Gladbach may still opt to leave Breel Embolo out for Friday’s visit of Dortmund while Marcus Thuram still has two matches left on his suspension for the red card picked up against Hoffenheim in December, so Rose has the option of utilising Lars Stindl or Alassane Plea as the central attacking option.
Borussia Monchengladbach could also be without young midfielder Rocco Reitz, defender Mamadou Doucoure and Austria international Valentino Lazaro.
🎙 Edin Terzic:
“We assume that with the exception of the long-term injuries, everyone is on board tomorrow. Thomas Delaney is, as you know, on a yellow card suspension." pic.twitter.com/TQeIWvW0lb
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) January 21, 2021
Borussia Monchengladbach possible starting lineup:
Sommer; Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini; Kramer, Zakaria, Neuhaus; Plea, Stindl, Hofmann
Dortmund, meanwhile, will be able to call upon Emre Can after suspension but Thorgan Hazard, Marcel Schmelzer, Axel Witsel and Dan-Axel Zagadou are injured. Danish midfielder Thomas Delaney is suspended.
Borussia Dortmund possible starting lineup:
Burki; Meunier, Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro; Bellingham, Dahoud; Sancho, Reus, Brandt; Haaland
Players to watch
Alassane Plea had caught everyone’s eye in the Champions League for Monchengladbach, scoring a hat-trick against Shakhtar then a double against Inter. The big striker has gone off the boil of late, drawing a blank in his last six games, but might come sparking back to life.
If Embolo is indeed left out, Gladbach may look to Lars Stindl for their goals this weekend. The 32-year-old is Gladbach’s top scorer in the Bundesliga this season win nine goals, but has also provided four assists.
Dortmund star Erling Haaland has drawn a blank in his last two games but hasn’t gone three matches without scoring all season.
The Norwegian superstar has scored 12 goals in the Bundesliga this season, a return only bettered by Robert Lewandowski, while only the Polish striker and Thomas Muller have been directly involved in more strikes, including assists.
Both sides have strong squads and can give their rivals problems on their day.
This should be a hugely entertaining match between two sides who can transition with lightning speed.
Given the amount of attacking talent on display it is tough to envisage either team keeping a clean sheet. Gladbach appear to be hitting a patch of form of late, but that by no means says that they have the upper hand in this clash.
Borussia Monchengladbach have excelled under Marco Rose, but the former Red Bull Salzburg boss has been heavily linked with a move to Borussia Dortmund.
You have to go back to 2015 for Monchengladbach’s last win and there hasn’t been a stalemate since 2013.
Dortmund would go into the match high on confidence knowing that they have an incredible record in this fixture, winning the last 12 meetings including a 3-0 home triumph earlier this season.
WE SAY, Borussia Monchengladbach 2-2 Borussia Dortmund