In the time of year when every match is important, tomorrow’s match is especially crucial. Borussia Dortmund will play one of the most difficult away fixtures of the year, traveling to BORUSSIA-PARK to face Borussia Mönchengladbach, who currently sit one point behind BVB in fourth place in the Bundesliga. After another hot start under manager Marco Rose, Mönchengladbach have fallen under the radar in the second half of the season, failing to capture headlines in the same manner as RB Leipzig, Bayern Munich, and BVB. Although they’re clearly not favorites to win the league, it’s not out of the realm of possibility either, and a win tomorrow against Borussia Dortmund would go a long way towards realizing their title aspirations.
In typical Borussia Mönchengladbach fashion, the Foals’ season has been very good, but not quite good enough to stay on top of the Bundesliga. They fell out of the Europa League in disappointing fashion, and were resoundingly defeated in the league by RB Leipzig, Schalke and Union Berlin. Finally, despite drastically outplaying Borussia Dortmund at the Westfalenstadion, the Foals again came up short, and suffered an undeserved 1-0 defeat. They’ve had several key victories, though, the most notable being a glorious 2-1 win against Bayern Munich in early December. Borussia Mönchengladbach are the least offensive of BVB’s title challengers, so such results are always enjoyable!
Borussia Mönchengladbach can credit their success in the league to a few key factors. Manager Marco Rose definitely deserves some credit. He’s taken a squad that lost one of its best players, Thorgan Hazard, and has helped it keep pace with the Bundesliga’s titan clubs. What he’s accomplished with Denis Zakaria and Breel Embolo has been very impressive. Before his arrival at BORUSSIA-PARK, these two players were once-touted Swiss youngster whose careers seemed to have stalled. In the months since Rose arrived, both players have begun to show why they were once touted as elite prospects.
Another reason for Gladbach’s success is Marcus Thuram. The French forward arrived from Guincamp during the summer to help replace Thorgan Hazard’s goal production, and he has done just that. He has been one of Mönchengladbach’s best players this year, with six goals and eight assists in 1698 minutes in the Bundesliga. Alassane Pléa has also continued where he left off last season, leading the team with eight goals in 20 appearances. On the backend, Nico Elvedi and Matthias Ginter have anchored Mönchengladbach’s back line, while Yann Sommer has been one of the best keepers in the Bundesliga this season.
What Lineup Should we Expect From Borussia Dortmund?
There isn’t much news on the injury front for Borussia Dortmund. Marco Reus and Thomas Delaney are still injured, while Erling Håland should be ready to start after sitting last weekend against Augsburg. With a mostly-healthy squad at his disposal, Favre will almost certainly roll out his trademark 3-4-3, with a back line of Lukasz Piszczek, Mats Hummels, and Dan-Axel Zagadou playing behind Axel Witsel and Emre Can. The front three of Jadon Sancho, Thorgan Hazard, and Erling Håland, which has been reaching MSN levels of goal production when healthy, should be ready to take the pitch and lead the charge once again.
I’m feeling optimistic today. Borussia Dortmund have been playing well as of late, and with a squad that’s almost completely healthy, Lucien Favre has no shortage of offensive firepower at his disposal. While Dortmund have struggled away from home at various points of the season, BVB’s win against Werder Bremen has demonstrated that they are indeed capable of playing well in hostile environments. It clearly won’t be easy, but I think that Dortmund have the ability to win and keep the title chase alive.