Games from the German Bundesliga continue to come at us thick and fast as we head into the second weekend of action since lockdown was lifted and the league resumed. Leaders Bayern Munich won last time to remain four points clear of nearest rivals Borussia Dortmund in second but there’s still all to play for throughout the top flight.
Borussia Monchengladbach welcome Bayer Leverkusen for what is sure to be game of the day on Saturday afternoon. This is a tussle involving two sides who still have chances of winning the title. The victor will pick up three vital points and keep the pressure on those above, the loser dropping down the pecking order and focussing their attentions on a top-four finish.
Borussia back with a bang
It was a long time coming but when the Bundesliga season did finally resume last weekend, we found Borussia Monchengladbach were willing and able to get their season back on track. The hosts picked up where they left off, bagging three points to keep alive their hopes of finishing in the top four and qualifying for the Champions League in summer. They also have a chance of winning the German title outright, although it is a big ask at this stage.
Borussia sit third in the table with their season stats showing 16 wins and four draws against six defeats. They have scored 52 goals in 26 games and conceded 31. The 52 points on the board means they are six off the pace set by league leaders Bayern Munich. Cutting into that gap wouldn’t be too much to ask under normal circumstances but Munich are showing no signs of slowing down and enjoy an extended winning run.
Monchengladbach are doing their bit to remain competitive, however. They have won three of their last four and each of their two most recent starts. We saw them defeat Eintracht Frankfurt last Saturday on the road with a 3-1 final score in front of an empty stadium. Plea broke the deadlock inside 11 minutes and that was followed by goals from Thuram and Bensebaini, the latter netting from the penalty spot. The match was over as a contest inside 10 minutes.
Must win for Bayer
This rates as a must-win game for Bayer Leverkusen if they are to have any chance of winning the Bundesliga title. The visitors sit down in fifth place so it’s obvious they have it all to do but, after 26 games, they are just eight points behind Bayern Munich. Victory here could drive Leverkusen into the top four Champions League slots and give their fans real hope for the future.
When the season is over, Leverkusen supporters will look back on this match as a crossroads fixture for their team. They start just a point behind RB Leipzig in fourth and well clear of Wolfsburg in sixth. The visitors won’t drop any further down the league than fifth, but they could end much higher. They are involved in the latter stages of the Europa League, having beaten Rangers in Glasgow in a first-leg match, and could add a place in next season’s Champions League to their achievements.
Their form is impressive with four wins and a draw in their last five outings. They have picked up six points from their last two games, including a comeback win over Werder Bremen last weekend, hammering their opponents 4-1 away from home that day. Havertz helped himself to a first-half double and we saw Weiser and Demirbay hit the net, despite Selassie scoring a consolation to make things interesting. The match was competitive at the break, but Bayer proved their fitness with a big second half.
Borussia M vs Leverkusen prediction
We’re set for another strange atmosphere with viewers taking as much interest in what’s going on off the field as on it. As we saw last weekend, we’re glad football is back but things are far from ideal and there’s a realisation amongst everyone concerned that football is all but pointless without fans packed into the stadiums. These games look to be a case of honouring TV contracts and saving cash.
Despite that, Monchengladbach vs Leverkusen will be an interesting match involving two form sides with ambitions of playing in the Champions League next season. We expect goals in this game and the hope is the match lives up to expectations and has us talking about football, rather than the lack of fans. Monchengladbach have home advantage and they are more likely to grab the vital three points, although this should be tight. Leverkusen can fall no further down the pecking order, but Borussia can and that should keep the locals focussed throughout.
The current betting for this match has Borussia Monchengladbach fancied in the match winner market. Those expecting the locals to live up to expectations and grab the three points can back them at 135/100. There’s enough in that quote to merit a single bet but it’s more likely Monchengladbach will feature in weekend accumulators.
There will be no shortage of interest in Bayer Leverkusen rocking the boat and backers will get 9/5 on the away day. That’s appealing as, for their stake money, supporters will be backing one of the form sides in the league at the minute and a squad good enough to apply real pressure to their opponents.
Can’t split them? The draw has been priced at 11/4. If you expect goals in this game, you could also steer clear of predicting a winner and have your stake on both teams to score at 21/50.