Bayern Munich v Borussia Monchengladbach: Red machine to keep rolling
Bayern Munich are on track to win yet another German title, and Kevin Hatchard doesn't think an off-form Borussia Monchengladbach can slow them down...
Bayern Munich v Borussia Mönchengladbach Saturday 13 June, 17:30 Live on BT Sport and Betfair Live Video
Bayern closing in on trophy haul
Bayern Munich weren't at their brilliant best on Wednesday, but they did enough in a 2-1 DFB Cup semi-final victory over Eintracht Frankfurt, a result that moved them a step closer to a potential treble. They'll face Bayer Leverkusen in the showpiece match in Berlin next month, they are well-placed to reach the last eight of the Champions League (they lead Chelsea 3-0 going into the second leg) and they could win an unprecedented eighth straight Bundesliga title this weekend.
For that to happen, Borussia Dortmund need to lose at Fortuna Düsseldorf, and then Bayern could build an unassailable ten-point lead with a win on Saturday evening. They have won 20 of their last 21 competitive matches, they have rattled in an eye-watering 90 goals in 30 league outings, and they haven't lost at home since November. Coach Hansi Flick has brought a quiet authority to the role, and he has upped the team's work-rate and intensity without the ball, a change that his charges seem to have relished.
The defending champions will be without star striker Robert Lewandowski and the revitalised Thomas Müller because of suspension. That's a lot of offensive output to lose - Lewandowski has smacked in 30 Bundesliga goals, while Müller has broken a Bundesliga single-season record by setting up 20 league goals.
Faltering Foals in danger of blowing UCL push
Borussia Mönchengladbach are under extreme pressure in their bid to qualify for the Champions League, and they aren't dealing with it particularly well. Last weekend's 1-0 defeat at Freiburg was a case in point - the Fohlenelf missed a host of first-half opportunities, conceded a preventable goal at a set play, and had influential striker Alassane Plea dismissed after a show of dissent and a clumsy challenge.
Marco Rose's men have now won just one of their last four games, and they are locked together on points with Rhineland rivals Bayer Leverkusen in the race for fourth spot. Gladbach's dramatic 2-1 win over Bayern Munich back in December put them seven points clear of the champions in the title race, but now they find themselves 14 points off top spot. Consistency has been hard to come by - Gladbach have secured back-to-back league wins just once in 2020.
It's hard to escape the notion that the Foals have missed the influence of injured midfielder Denis Zakaria. The Swiss international's energy and drive are critical to the way they play, and while Florian Neuhaus is doing his best to fill the void, he's more of a creative type. Christoph Kramer is more of an enforcer, but he currently looks a shadow of the player that worked his way into Germany's team for the World Cup final in 2014.
Plea is suspended, and Breel Embolo is struggling with injury, so Marcus Thuram may spearhead the attack. Thuram is usually more of a danger when he pulls into wide areas, but he may have to occupy a more central role, with skipper Lars Stindl in support.
Bayern still worthy favourites despite absences
Gladbach have won three of the clubs' last five Bundesliga meetings, but don't be distracted by this season's earlier clash. Bayern dominated for 65 minutes, but failed to build on their lead, and a passionate crowd inspired the hosts to mount a stirring comeback.
Both teams are missing important players, but Bayern still have lots of pace in key areas (Alphonso Davies, Serge Gnabry, Kingsley Coman) and I think they can cause problems for the Foals' back three.
I'll back Bayern -1.5 on the Asian Handicap here at 1.85.
Goals might be in short supply
The market expects goals here, with Over 3.5 Goals trading at a skinny 2.04, but there's an argument to say the game might stay under that line. The Foals haven't scored in their last two away matches, and the suspension of Plea robs them of someone who has produced ten goals and ten assists in the league this season.
Leon to shoot on sight
Not only has Bayern midfielder Leon Goretzka beefed up physically in 2020, but he has also enhanced his goal tally. He has scored four goals in his last nine appearances, and he had two shots on target in the recent win at Bayer Leverkusen and a further two on target in Der Klassiker in Dortmund. He has attempted at least two shots in seven of his last nine appearances, and with Lewandowski and Müller out, he may take on more attacking responsibility.
Using the Sportbook's OddsBoost, you can back Goretzka to have two shots on target or more at 7/2.
It's also worth considering back Gladbach right-back Stefan Lainer to be shown a yellow card at 2/1. The Austrian has picked up eight cautions in the league this season, has been yellow-carded in the last two matches, and he'll be up against searing speed in Alphonso Davies and Kingsley Coman.
Back Bayern -1.5 on the Asian Handicap at1.85 Back Leon Goretzka to have two or more shots on target at 7/2 on the Sportsbook Back Stefan Lainer to be shown a yellow card at 2/1 on the Sportsbook