Borussia Monchengladbach vs Bayer Leverkusen: Predictions & Odds
- Borussia Monchengladbach remain in the title race and could yet be Bayern Munich’s chief challengers
- Bayer Leverkusen are also in good shape as they target Champions League soccer
- This could be the most entertaining encounter of the weekend, with goals for both teams likely
|What||Borussia Monchengladbach vs Bayer Leverkusen|
|Where||Borussia-Park, Monchengladbach, Germany|
|When||Saturday, 23 May 2020, 09:30 AM EST|
|How to watch||Fox Sports, Fox Deportes, Stream live on DraftKings|
There was a certain sense of trepidation among all Bundesliga clubs ahead of the season’s resumption last weekend. Much of that had to do with issues far beyond soccer, of course, but managers, players, and fans were also unsure how easy it would be to get back into the usual rhythm after a three-month break from competitive action.
Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen each gave positive answers to that question. Gladbach kept up the heat on league leaders Bayern Munich with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt, while Leverkusen went one better in running out 4-1 winners against Werder Bremen.
RB Leipzig’s failure to beat Freiburg was good news for both Gladbach and Leverkusen. The former moved above them and into third place, with table-topping Bayern still six points ahead. Leverkusen, meanwhile, is now just a solitary point adrift of Leipzig, which currently occupies the final Champions League qualification spot.
Both teams still have plenty to play for, then, and their positive results last time out will lead Gladbach and Leverkusen to believe that victory is attainable this weekend. Neutrals will be hoping that such a mindset produces an entertaining and high-scoring affair at Borussia-Park – and the evidence suggests that that is a distinct possibility.
Borussia Monchengladbach vs Bayer Leverkusen Odds
|Total goals – 3.5||Odds|
Odds taken from BetMGM, May 20.
Despite the absence of supporters, Gladbach will feel that the onus is on them this weekend. They are the home team, after all, and competing for a title necessitates going for victory in almost every game.
Leverkusen is not one to sit back, however, and you can be sure that Peter Bosz’s side will do its fair share of attacking. Television viewers may, therefore, be the real winners, with more than 3.5 goals looking like excellent value.
Gladbach’s Attacking Potential on Display Throughout 2020
As Bayern Munich struggled to fulfill its potential under former manager Niko Kovac, Gladbach topped the table for more than two months earlier in the campaign. That stretch culminated in a 2-1 defeat of Bayern which seemed to confirm Gladbach’s title credentials.
But Marco Rose’s men have lost ground since then, dropping points against Borussia Dortmund (twice), Union Berlin, Wolfsburg, Hertha Berlin, Schalke, RB Leipzig, and Hoffenheim, and falling to third in the standings.
There are signs that the Foals are gearing itself up for a final charge, however, particularly when you look at the attack. Since a 2-0 loss to Schalke in its first game after the winter break, Gladbach has scored in each of its eight matches, racking up 19 goals in total. The fact that they were 2-0 up against Eintracht within seven minutes of kick-off last weekend shows how lethal they can be in even short passages of play.
Rose likes his side to play on the front foot, with the four attackers in his 4-2-3-1 formation supported by two forward-thinking full-backs. That will be the case again on Saturday.
Leverkusen’s Forward Line Is Clicking at Just the Right Time
Leverkusen is not exactly short of firepower either. Although they have been outscored by the four teams above them in the table, it is not implausible to argue that Leverkusen plays the most daring soccer in the Bundesliga.
Bayer has found the back of the net for 10 games on the bounce, scoring eight times in its last two outings alone. Werder Bremen simply could not cope with Leverkusen’s movement, speed, and all-round quality in forward areas last time out, and Gladbach’s defense will know that it will be in for a testing time on Saturday.
Kai Havertz is the man to watch for Leverkusen. The 20-year-old is one of the most highly-rated prospects in European soccer right now, and he excelled in a false nine role in the 4-1 demolition of Werder. Havertz looks set to continue in that position this weekend, with support provided by Nadiem Amiri and Moussa Diaby.
Bosz’s Style Means Leverkusen Will Take the Game to Gladbach
Bosz came spectacularly unstuck at Borussia Dortmund two seasons ago, but even the Dutchman’s detractors would struggle to argue that his teams play dull football. Bosz routinely instructs his players to press high up the pitch, hoping to steal possession in advanced areas close to the opposition goal.
It is a high-risk strategy, and if Gladbach can break through that pressure on Saturday they will find vast swathes of the pitch open to them. Bosz has succeeded in striking a better balance at Leverkusen than he did at Dortmund, but this is a team that can still be got at by an astute opponent.
Bosz’s bravery could work in his team’s favor, or perhaps Gladbach will take advantage and boost its title tilt. Either way, this should be a highly watchable match with goals aplenty.
Take the over option here – both teams are in a confident mood and neither is likely to play on the back foot.