Bayern Munich vs Borussia Monchengladbach predictions: Bayern can cruise to victory
At the dawn of the new campaign, Bayern Munich’s rivals might have sensed the slightest hint of weakness within the perennial Bundesliga champions, a vague whiff of vulnerability that could help them finally end the Bavarians’ decade-long stranglehold on the title.
By their own lofty standards, Julian Nagelsmann’s men had tailed off badly after the winter break.
Eight wins in their final 17 matches of 2021-22 had been enough to capture a 32nd league title, but it had also seen Bayern stumble out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage against unfancied Villarreal.
In the summer that followed, Robert Lewandowski — the Bundesliga’s top scorer in the last five seasons — left for Barcelona, meaning Bayern would surely suffer a period of readjustment.
Four games and 20 goals later, those hopes have already been dashed with Bayern again top of the German standings and somehow re-energised by Lewandowski’s departure.
Next up, however, is a Borussia Monchengladbach side who know a thing or two about throwing a spanner in Bayern’s works.
Nagelsmann’s absentee list cleared up nicely last weekend, with Matthijs de Ligt, Dayot Upamecano and Serge Gnabry all shaking off injuries, while Kingsley Coman returned from suspension in the rout of Bochum.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is also closing in on full fitness for Bayern, but Leon Goretzka is a few weeks away as he recovers from knee surgery and it is unlikely Jamal Musiala will return yet following an adductor strain.
Monchengladbach head coach Daniel Farke has a near fully fit squad to choose from, with right-back Stefan Lainer the only player absent from training with inflammation of the thigh.
Bayern have scored 15 goals and conceded only one in their three Bundesliga matches this term, thrashing Eintracht Frankfurt 6-1, beating Wolfsburg 2-0 and, most recently, winning 7-0 at Bochum.
The Bavarians also scored five times in the DFL Supercup but their defeat of RB Leipzig was a little less straightforward.
The Red Bull outfit — who came fourth last season while Bayern’s league opponents so far this term finished 11th, 12th and 13th tied on 42 points — struck three goals in defeat.
Monchengladbach finished 10th last season and only three points better off than Eintracht, Wolfsburg and Bochum, but they do have a bizarrely impressive record against Bayern.
The Foals have scored in ten of their last 11 meetings with their old rivals and last season won 2-1 in Munich and drew 1-1 at home in the league while also thrashing a full-strength Bayern side 5-0 in the DFB-Pokal — the champions’ heaviest defeat since 1978.
Those results mean that Monchengladbach have beaten Bayern in the last five Bundesliga campaigns, despite their average finishing position in that time being a lowly seventh.
Indeed, the overall record between the two teams in this fixture over the past five seasons is six wins for Monchengladbach, four for Bayern and just one draw — with the meetings averaging over four goals per game.
Eyebrows were raised when Nagelsmann said Bayern would be even more potent after selling Lewandowski but, so far, he has been proved correct.
With new signing Sadio Mane slotting straight in and the likes of Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane and youngster Jamal Musiala offering goals, assists and electric pace, there is a spell-binding fluidity about this Bayern frontline that has mesmerised opposition defences.
But while current form and logic points to a convincing home romp for Bayern, something strange seems to happen to the Bavarians in this long-running Bundesliga rivalry.
The recent record between the pair is oddly out of kilter with any of Bayern’s other head-to-head records in the Bundesliga and there was nothing in last season’s form to suggest Monchengladbach would pull out an away win and a 5-0 home romp against the perennial champions.
Monchengladbach have two wins from their first three league games but opening-day opponents Hoffenheim were reduced to ten men within 20 minutes — and still took the lead before losing 3-1 – and Farke’s men again faced ten men for the final 20 minutes of their 1-0 defeat of last season’s relegation survivors, Hertha Berlin.
It’s tempting to suggest that something odd will again occur but Bayern just look too strong to allow another slip-up against a team whose goalscoring chances have been heavily priced in on the back of recent meetings.
Instead, it makes sense to expect a routine victory and clean sheet for Nagelsmann’s team.