As the new Bundesliga goes into its 2nd round since the restart, the biggest match this weekend takes place in North Rhine-Westphalia as Borussia Mönchengladbach host Bayer Leverkusen. The hosts sit just 6 points behind league leaders Bayern Munich, while the visitors are just a further 2 points off the top spot.
With just 8 points separating the top 5, this season’s Bundesliga title race could be one of the most exciting we’ve seen in years. We’ve taken a look at both teams’ form so far this season and recent games between the two sides to come up with our betting tip this week.
Until Bayern revitalised themselves under a new manager and Dortmund got their act together, Mönchengladbach made the number 1 spot their home for quite some time earlier in the season. They go into this game off the back of a comfortable 3-1 away win against Frankfurt, which twinned with Leipzig dropping points, meant they climbed up to 3rd in the table. With just 6 points separating them and league leaders Bayern, and a mere 2 points sitting between them and Dortmund, Gladbach can comfortably claim to be in the title race, however they’ll be all too aware that any points dropped could see an end to that.
A win for Leverkusen this weekend would see them leapfrog their hosts and break into the top for, with 2nd, 3rd and 4th place all being a possibility depending on results elsewhere. Like their hosts, Leverkusen welcomed the restart with an away win, easing past relegation candidates Werder Bremen 4-1. All eyes will be on 20 year old midfielder Kai Havertz who bagged a brace in last weekend’s win. The young German international has attracted interest from a host of top European clubs and will be looking to continue his goal scoring form at Borussia-Park this weekend.
Looking at both this season’s statistics and past meetings between them, you’d be hard pushed to find two more evenly matched teams. Out of their past 8 games against each other, Gladbach have won 4 and Leverkusen have won 4. This season there’s not much separating the two sides either. Both sides have conceded 31 goals this season, while Mönchengladbach have scored just 3 more goals than their visitors this season. Just 2 points separate the sides and they’ve both lost 6 games apiece this season, with the slender gap only existing because Leverkusen have drawn one more and won one less than their hosts.
With so little separating these two teams, you could be forgiven for thinking that a score draw would be the smart bet to go for. However, you have to go all the way back to December 2014 to find the last time these two shared the spoils.
It’s going to be a tight and entertaining afternoon at Borussia-Park on Saturday, but something tells us that the momentum is every-so-slightly more with the hosts.
It’s an extremely tough one to call, but going for the draw just doesn’t seem right, as Gladbach do hold an advantage, however slender it may be. On paper, Leverkusen come into this game in better form, having won 4 games on the trott, but games played before the enforced break bear little influence on momentum. There is the argument that home field advantage isn’t really a factor in this new era of fanless football, however Mönchengladbach’s players will look up to at least find some faces in the stand in the form of 12,000 cardboard cutouts of their fans. Neither side are clean sheet specialists, so we do expect Leverkusen to get on the scoresheet, perhaps even more than once and most likely through Kai Havertz. Our betting tip for this week is a Mönchengladbach win with both teams to score at odds of 11/4 with Betway.