After being one of the most impressive sides in the Bundesliga in recent years, Borussia Dortmund are having some serious issues, slumping to fifth in the table. Monchengladbach have the opportunity to put even more pressure on the side, with the midtable squad looking to build on a fairly strong run of recent form. Find out more about what you can expect to see tactically, the likely lineups and our predictions for Borussia Dortmund vs Monchengladbach.
Dortmund are a side that have had some significant issues so far this season. Their most recent loss to Stuttgart was just one in a growing list of losses this season, with a 4-0 home loss to Bayern Munich only amplifying their issues. xG underperformance in the majority of the side’s Bundesliga matches this season is causing big issues, whilst overperforming in comparison the xGA. This is a worrying sign that Edin Terzic’s side need to turn things around.
Die Fohlen, on the other hand, are performing fairly comfortably. Recent wins against Heidenheim and Wolfsburg, with a draw against Freiburg in between, have shown that this side can grind out performances against a vast range of sides. Not only that, but by both overperforming their xG and conceding more goals than expected, you can almost guarantee that any match featuring Gladbach will be a fascinating watch.
For most of the season so far, Edin Terzic’s side has focused on holding as much of the ball as possible, retaining possession in their opponents’ half and trying to build opportunities out on the wings. Julian Brandt has been both one of their most important creators and goalscorers, with a fit and healthy Brandt being one of the biggest threats to a strong performance from Gladbach. Good performances from Marco Reus, Donyell Malen and Niclas Fullkrug will be essential for making an early impact.
Dortmund’s focus on holding possession perfectly fits into Gladbach’s goals, with Gerardo Seoane’s side thriving when they’re able to pounce on the counter. Combining that with quality from set pieces and solid defensive football will be key to winning this match. A wide-open match will suit the away side, with plenty of opportunities to transition, strike on the counter and pull a defensively fragile Dortmund back-line apart.
There are a few minor injury concerns across the two sides, with Dortmund being the bigger sufferers. Felix Nmecha is a relatively big loss for the home side, with the ever-versatile Emre Can and Julien Duranville also kept out. There’s a lot of quality unavailable for Terzic, which could put a lot of pressure on a fairly depleted substitutes bench as the match goes on.
Gladbach are also missing some key players for the match, with centre-back Ko Itakura and starting goalkeeper Jonas Omlin potentially missing out on the clash. That puts the away side in a much stronger position and means that the squad has all the depth it needs to secure all three points.
Dortmund can expect to see Gregor Kobel starting in net with Nico Schlotterbeck at centre-back alongside Rami Bensebaini, as Nicolas Sule and Julian Ryerson take the full-back positions. Expect to see an aggressive midfield setup of Marcel Sabitzer, Salih Ozcan and Marco Reus behind a front line of Nico Fullkrug, Julian Brandt and Donyell Malen.
Monchengladbach play with a more passive 3-5-2 structure, as Moritz Nicolas starts in goal behind a trio of Max Wober, Nico Elvedi and Joe Scally, with Luca Netz and Franck Honorat playing as aggressive wing-backs. A central midfield of Manu Kone, Julian Weigl and Rocco Reitz protects the back-line whilst creating scoring chances for Alassane Plea and Tomas Cvancara.
Whilst Borussia Dortmund have the quality in individual players to win this match, a mix of poor form and the tactical matchup throws that into question. Expect a close game with Gladbach pouncing from set pieces and counters, with the home side just narrowly squeaking a victory.
At the bookmakers’, Dortmund are favourites for the match at 5/11, with the visitors being narrow outsiders at 11/2, according to the UK online betting sites.
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