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On Sunday (January 22, 2023/5:30 p.m.), Borussia Mönchengladbach will finally fight for the points again! And: When the Bundesliga restarts, the Foals have Rhine rival Bayer Leverkusen as home guests at Borussia Park.
GladbachLIVE took a close look at both teams and gave them a form check.
Gladbach and Leverkusen: Who is ahead in a direct duel?
Starting position: When you look at the Bundesliga table, the starting position should quickly become clear. After 15 games, Borussia Mönchengladbach have 22 points and are in eighth place. Leverkusen, on the other hand, have 18 points after a difficult first half of the season, during which the team even slipped into the dangerous relegation zone, and are now in twelfth place in the table.
More recently, however, the Werkself have been gaining momentum in the league under coach Xabi Alonso (41). Bayer Leverkusen have taken ten points from the last five league games. In November, the team even managed a perfect record of three wins in three games.
Borussia, on the other hand, were unstable before the winter break. The Foals have lost three of their last five Bundesliga games. On the last day of 2022, there was at least one release with a 4-2 home win over Borussia Dortmund.
Statistics: Bayer clearly wins the record of all previous duels. Werkself won 37 duels, Borussia celebrated 29 wins and there were also 28 draws. Especially in the club’s recent history, Borussia didn’t look good against their Rhineland rivals, even in front of their home fans. The Colts have already suffered four straight home defeats in all competitions. The goal difference in Borussia’s last four home games is 2:11 goals.
The last home win against Leverkusen was in August 2018 – a 2-0 victory under manager Dieter Hecking (58).
Winter preparation: Borussia have played four friendlies in preparation for the restart of the Bundesliga. Most have been won. A 12-3 victory against the “Legends of the Park” at the end of 2022 was followed by a 2-0 victory against third division club VfB Oldenburg and a 4-0 victory against second division club Arminia Bielefeld. Only the dress rehearsal against FC St. Pauli turned the Fohlenelf upside down. There was a 0-1 defeat.
Coach Daniel Farke (46) was generally satisfied with the preparation of his team, but also issued some criticisms: “It was not good today, we did not have the necessary intensity in the game, especially in the first half. We lost the game deservedly, but it’s not the end of the world, even if it was the dress rehearsal.”
Things have gotten even better for Leverkusen, who have won four of their five friendlies. A 3-0 win over St. Louis City SC was followed by a 3-0 loss to Glasgow Rangers. After that, Alonso’s team got back to winning ways and achieved further test successes against FC Zurich (4:1), FC Venice (2:1) and FC Copenhagen (1: 0).
It’s no wonder, then, that Bayer coach Xabi Alonso sees his squad fully prepared for the upcoming league duel: “The team wants and needs competition now. We’ve made the best use of the weeks, spending lots of time together and working on different things. Now we are ready for Sunday!
Personal: After a few setbacks in the meantime, Borussia have almost limitless resources to draw on. Only the young Yvandro Borges Sanches (18 years old / irritation of the tendon of the hip flexor) was excluded. However, there is still a question mark behind top scorer Marcus Thuram (25/knee irritation). The vice-world champion had not been able to train all week. “We’ll wait for the last training session tomorrow with him and then we’ll see if he doesn’t suffer. His quality and value are so high for us that we’ll do everything we can to have him with us on Sunday,” he said. said Coach Farke, but there was still a glimmer of hope.
Jonas Omlin (29), who replaces Yann Sommer (34) as Gladbach’s number one after eight-and-a-half years, could also be a new addition to his VfL debut.
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Overall, Leverkusen also looks good in terms of personnel. The Werkself are missing two players for the Bundesliga restart: Charles Aránguiz (33, calf injury) and Patrik Schick (26, adductor injury).
All other Bayer professionals are currently candidates for the matchday squad. New signing Noah Mbamba (18) could make his debut against Borussia, national player Florian Wirtz (19) could also return to competition after tearing his cruciate ligament.
“Flo has made great progress in recent weeks and played almost 90 minutes in the last friendly. He’s ready,” Alonso said.
Conclusion: After Borussia was clearly ahead at the start of the season, the cards risk being reshuffled shortly before the end of the first part of the Bundesliga season.
After a temporary dip with relegation and personnel worries, Leverkusen have recovered and are back on the road to success.
Borussia, on the other hand, sometimes lacks regularity despite many good performances in the league.
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Both teams have also made a good impression during the preparation and appear to be fit and ready for the Bundesliga opener.
From now on, a duel at human height can be assumed, in which individual nuances and qualities could ultimately be decisive.
To what extent the change in goalkeeping personnel at Borussia will have a decisive impact is currently not predictable, as Alonso recently explained. “Yann Sommer is a very good goalkeeper and played an important role in the Mönchengladbach team. We don’t know how the staff will affect us now.”
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