Bundesliga: Bayern Munich Vs Moenchengladbach Preview
Written by Oluwaseun Oyediji
Bayern Munich’s 7-0 demolition of Bochum last weekend made it nine (9) and a +14 goal difference for the Bavarians after three games, a record for a Bundesliga team at this point of the season.
Even this early in the campaign, there is frankly little evidence to suggest any side can stop Julian Nagelsmann’s men from romping towards an 11th consecutive Bundesliga title.
Style of Play
Julian Nagelsmann has eased into his role at Bayern Munich by deploying the same formation as his predecessor, Hansi Flick.
Nagelsmann’s 4-2-3-1 looks very similar in application to Flick’s, both in functionality and personnel.
There are a few notable changes to the lineup under Nagelsmann including Dayot Upamecano coming in for Alana who departed for Real Madrid.
Lucas Hernandez has also played an important role.
Nagelsmann has also installed Leroy Sane as one of the key men in the team.
Other than that, things have been pretty standard for Nagelsmann in his 4-2-3-1 formation as he eases into life at the Allianz with the arrival of Sadio Mane up front.
What Bayern’s most recent fixtures lack in competitiveness, they certainly make up for in goals and record-breaking statistics, with six of their last seven league games witnessing at least four goals and both teams scoring in five of those.
The Bavarians have chalked up 15 league strikes already – the most ever after three Bundesliga games – so don’t expect Nagelsmann to tweak his attacking approach in search of a perhaps surprising third-successive Bundesliga clean sheet for the first time since May 2020.
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Player to Watch
Bayern forward, Sadio Mane has scored three goals in his first three Bundesliga games – a feat last achieved by Mario Mandzukic ten years ago also for Bayern.
Borussia Moenchengladbach saw out a tentative 1-0 win at home to Hertha Berlin last week, somewhat avenging the disappointment of their 93rd-minute draw to Schalke in game week two, billing this as an early top versus second clash.
Style of Play
When it’s all smooth sailing for Farke, the abeyant manager sticks with his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation. The conventional structure is Farke’s little symmetrical baby, providing balance in offence as well as defence.
Farke prefers for his team to create central overloads instead, with the end goal being to free up the fullbacks in the wide areas.
The 4-2-3-1 expertly facilitates this as the wingers can tuck inside into the halfspaces and roam between the lines alongside the centre-forward, number ‘10’, and perhaps even one of the double-pivot if they positioned themselves higher. Nevertheless, this isn’t mutually exclusive to the 4-2-3-1.
With this, Borussia Mönchengladbach can expect to be a possession-oriented side.
One of Mönchengladbach’s greatest strategic strengths was its ability to hit teams on the break with blistering speed and boisterous power.
Mönchengladbach would press teams high, trying to turn over possession as high up the pitch as possible before transitioning towards goal.
Don’t let the odds deceive you in this game as if any team can be classed as Bayern’s bogey team, it’s the Foals!
They pulled off a huge upset in this fixture last season when claiming a 2-1 comeback victory in January, perhaps providing boss Daniel Farke with a blueprint for victory before his first ever managerial battle against Bayern.
Whilst Moenchengladbach only won four league games on the road last season (five draws and eight defeats), they are unbeaten in their last five away from home (two wins and three draws).
They netted the opening goal in four of those fixtures, meaning there may be belief that they can extend their unbeaten run against Bayern to four (two wins and a draw), perhaps even pulling off the unthinkable and winning a third straight Head-to-Heads (H2H) in all competitions for the first time.
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Player to Watch
Nine of Jonas Hoffman’s 12 league goals for Borussia Moenchengladbach last season came in winning causes.
Borussia Moenchengladbach has won three of the last five matches between both sides, losing one and drawing the other game.
Verdict: A slim win or draw for Bayern Munich
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