With the rest of Europe’s top leagues almost back in business, the Bundesliga may start to fade into the background soon; with the title race done and the season almost over. There’s still plenty to play for in the interim though, with the European spots still up for grabs and the relegation battle very much alive.
Bayern Munich have more or less wrapped up the title, leading Borussia Dortmund by seven points with just four games to go, but they haven’t taken their collective foot off the gas. A 4-2 victory over Bayer Leverkusen at the weekend blew away the last doubts that they would be crowned champions, a win they had to fight for after going 1-0 down early on.
Borussia Mönchengladbach, meanwhile, have stumbled recently in their quest for a European spot – losing away at SC Freiburg on Friday- and are now level on points with Leverkusen, with goal difference the only thing keeping them in the top four.
Gladbach celebrating in front of their cardboard fan zone
Where to Watch
Bayern come into the match without two of their stars. Thomas Müller and Robert Lewandowski both collected their fifth yellow card in the win over Leverkusen and will be suspended, leaving a massive gap to be filled – the pair combining for 60 goals and assists in the league alone this season.
Serge Gnabry is a doubt after sitting out Bayern’s 2-1 DFB-Pokal victory over Frankfurt on Wednesday with a bruised back. If he is deemed unfit, highly-rated Dutch striker Joshua Zirkzee could get his chance at leading the line.
Gladbach have similar issues, with top scorer Alassane Pléa suspended after being given his marching orders during thir defeat to Freiburg.
Augsburg-bound Tobias Strobl remains out with a torn muscle, as does key midfielder Denis Zakaria – who is unlikely to feature again this season. However, Breel Embolo could feature after injury, taking part in full training on Wednesday.
Bayern Munich: Neuer, Pavard, Boateng, Alaba, Davies; Kimmich, Goretzka; Perisic, Thiago, Coman; Gnabry/Zirkzee.
Borussia Monchengladbach: Sommer; Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini; Hofmann, Hermann, Neuhaus, Stindl; Thuram, Traoré/Embolo.
Bayern Munich lead the league head-to-head with 13 wins to Gladbach’s seven, but a total of nine draws has kept their win percentage relatively low.
Gladbach are one of just four sides to defeat Bayern this season, with a 2-1 win at Borussia-Park in December secured with a stoppage-time Ramy Bensebaini penalty.
Bayern are unbeaten since the resumption of the Bundesliga and have all but guaranteed that the league title will be returning to the Allianz Arena for another year.
Prior to their DFB-Pokal semi-final victory over Frankfurt in midweek, they had secured impressive victories over Leverkusen, Düsseldorf and title rivals Borussia Dortmund.
Gladbach, though, have struggled for consistency since the restart and have come unstuck in defeats to Leverkusen and Freiburg despite wins over Frankfurt and Union Berlin, to leave their Champions League ambitions in the balance.
They will take heart from the result in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, and look to the form of exciting forward Marcus Thuram to inspire them and keep the fourth spot in their hands going into the run-in.
Both sides’ recent league form is below.
Bayer Leverkusen 2-4 Bayern Munich (6/6)
Bayern Munich 5-0 Düsseldorf (30/5)
Borussia Dortmund 0-1 Bayern Munich (26/5)
Bayern Munich 5-2 Eintracht Frankfurt (23/5)
Union Berlin 0-2 Bayern Munich (17/5)
SC Freiburg 1-0 Mönchengladbach (5/6)
Mönchengladbach 4-1 Union Berlin (31/5)
Werder Bremen 0-0 Mönchengladbach (26/5)
Mönchengladbach 1-3 Bayer Leverkusen (23/5)
Eintracht Frankfurt 1-3 Mönchengladbach (16/5)
Bayern’s remaining games:
Bayern could be champions as early as this weekend ?? they win and Dortmund lose in the earlier kick-off.
Two wins from two and Bayern would win the league in Bremen, regardless of other results.
? Wolfsburg pic.twitter.com/7L3jFGijPK
— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) June 8, 2020
Bayern should stroll through this match based on recent form; but the absences of Lewandowski and Müller will (obviously) be huge. Gladbach punished a full strength Bayern side the last time these sides met, so with those absences added to the mix, they will surely smell blood once again.
Gladbach will miss the influential Pléa, but have enough to trouble the Bayern backline – with more on the line for them than their opponents.