Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. FC Bayern München (20.01.12 – 1930 UK time)
The top match of the week, at least based on the standings, is the first one. Current league leaders Bayern München travel to Mönchengladbach to face fourth-placed Borussia. A loss would be a horrible start for either team.
Lucien Favre wants to continue to impress with his perfectly tuned Gladbach team. They started the campaign as underdog, now every other club is perfectly aware of how good this side is. How will they deal with the fact that the days of not being taken seriously enough are over? Are the announced summer departures of Marco Reus and Roman Neustädter a disadvantage? Three points would silence the critics.
For Bayern, the main question is: are they the team that dominated everything at the beginning of the season or the team that struggled not to lose too many points before the winter break? Coach Jupp Heynckes blamed the problems on exhaustion. There certainly has been more than enough time to rest; can Bayern become unstoppable once again? A win would regain that confidence.
Neither Gladbach nor Bayern have to do without a regular due to injuries, the recently injured Reus and Schweinsteiger are 100% fit again. FCB defenders Breno (flu) and Diego Contento (broken toe) will miss the match but their chances to play would have been next to nought, anyway. However, both coaches will have to replace a key player due to suspensions, Dante (fifth yellow card) and Franck Ribery (sent off) are not allowed to play. Roul Brouwers and Toni Kroos will be their direct replacements.
Last 5 matches:
|2009/2010||04.12.2009||FC Bayern München||Borussia M’gladbach||2:1|
|2009/2010||24.04.2010||Borussia M’gladbach||FC Bayern München||1:1|
|2010/2011||06.11.2010||Borussia M’gladbach||FC Bayern München||3:3|
|2010/2011||02.04.2011||FC Bayern München||Borussia M’gladbach||1:0|
|2011/2012||07.08.2011||FC Bayern München||Borussia M’gladbach||0:1|
Marco Reus vs. Holger Badstuber
Gladbach’s focal point already scored ten goals this season and surely wants to add more before he leaves the club at the end of the season. With Philipp Lahm mainly having to take care of Patrick Herrmann, it’ll be Holger Badstuber’s job to stop the fast Reus.
Roman Neustädter vs. Schweinsteiger/Kroos
With Havard Nordtveit supporting left-back Filip Daems against Arjen Robben and Marco Reus not being a major help defensively, Neustädter will have to pay attention to more opponents than he’d prefer. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Toni Kroos will both play a lot of passes, Neustädter’s task will be to make sure that those passes don’t reach the feet of an attacker. No matter who wins, you can be sure that nobody will run more than Roman Neustädter.
Bundesliga Football Prediction; 1-2