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European Dreams at Stake in the Bundesliga

Last updated: June 3, 2020 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Friday, 19:30
Venue: Mage Solar Stadion
Coverage: BT Sports
Home Form: WDLDL
Away Form: WWLDW
Last Meeting: M’gladbach 2 – 1 Freiburg
Competition: Bundesliga

In the game between Freiburg vs Borussia Monchengladbach, it’s a battle between two sides that have European football as their goal of the season. Sixth-placed Freiburg has their Europa League qualification hopes in their hands while Borussia Monchengladbach is in a battle to keep hold of a Champions League spot. Bayern Leverkusen is breathing down their necks, tied on 56 points but separated by goal difference.

The next four games for Freiburg are a matter of life and death for them as they face their competitors for the European slot. They are just four points behind the Europa League qualification spot with Wolfsburg (who they meet next) and Hoffenheim both tied on 42 points in what looks to be a grand finale for the crucial sixth-place spot.

Freiburg lost to Bayern Leverkusen over the weekend in a historic day for youngster Kai Havertz who became the first player to score 35 goals in the Bundesliga before turning 21 years. The only goal came in the half-hour mark after persistent pressure on the solid Freiburg line. The alleged Manchester United and Liverpool target went off injured six minutes after celebrating the goal after tangling with Freiburg defender Christian Gunter.

Gunter is Freiburg’s highest-profile player leading the assist tally for the side with eight so far this season followed closely by Italian Vincenzo Grifo who has three goals and seven assists. Their most prolific goal scorer is Nils Petersen with nine goals with the side managing just 38 goals so far this season. They need to improve their recent form of only two wins in the last ten league matches.

Borussia will definitely play in Europe, and there is a tight tussle with Bayern Leverkusen on who occupies the position four that comes with a package of playing in the biggest competition in Europe. The pride and huge bonuses that come with playing in the Champions League should be enough boost for Borussia to bring the A-game over the remaining games to achieve this vital goal.

Manager Marco Rose’s style of play consists of structured counter attacks that rely on the two wide forwards who create space for the overlapping Ramy Bensebaini and Stefan Lainer. They won 4 – 1 against Union Berlin to secure their place in the top four. Neuhaus skipped past the Berlin defenders to fire the opener hitting the inside of the post for his fourth goal of the season. Thuram headed the second before the break from a delicious cross from his attacking compatriot Plea. Union brought one back, but two more goals from the dangerous Gladbach duo Plea and Thuram sealed a comfortable home win. A great moment late in the match when Mamadou Doucoure, who joined the club in 2016, finally made his debut four years later after being beset by constant injuries.

A stand out performer for Borussia that has caught the attention of the Premier League leaders, Liverpool is Bensebaini. Touted as a potential back-up for Andy Robertson, the 25-year old Algerian has five goals and five assists so far this season. These figures represent his career-best; he provides a tremendous physical presence defensively as well as ensuring great bursting runs forward on the attack.


Team News

Freiburg holds their European fate in their own hands facing 4th placed Gladbach, 6th placed Wolfsburg, and 9th placed Hertha Berlin.

Nils Petersen, who has nine goals, will be their biggest goal threat and will depend on quality service from Christian Gunter.

Plea became the fourth player across Europe’s top five leagues to reach double figures in both goals and assists; the others are Lionel Messi, Serge Gnabry, and Jadon Sancho.

Borussia has now won against all the 52 clubs they have faced in the Bundesliga and their win over Union Berlin at the weekend was their 14 straight Bundesliga home win.


Expected Line-Ups:

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Freiburg (4-4-2): Schwolow, Sallai, Hoefler, Koch, Kuebler, Leinhart, Heintz, Guenter, Grifo, Hoeler, Petersen
Subs: Flekken, Schlotterbeck, Gulde, Abrashi, Schmid, Frantz, Templeman, Waldaschmidt
Injured: Haberer, Kath, Ravet
Doubtful:
Not available:
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Borussia (4-2-3-1): Sommer, Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini, Hofmann, Neuhaus, Herrmann, Stindi, Thuram, Plea
Subs: Sippel, Doucoure, Wendt, Benes, Muesel, Traore, Kurt, Quizera
Injured: Embolo, Johnson, Strobl, Zakaria
Doubtful:
Not available:

So Far This Season

. . .
Freiburg This Season Borussia This Season
8th League Position 4th
10 (4) Wins (away) 17 (7)
3 – 0 v Mainz 05 Biggest Win 5 – 1 v Augsburg
8 (6) Draws (away) 5 (3)
0 – 4 v FC Koln Biggest Defeat 1 – 3 v Leipzig
Petersen (9) Top Goal Scorer Plea (10) Thuram (10)
Y35, R1 Discipline Y54, R0
8 Failures to Score 6
17% Clean Sheets 21%
55% Both Teams to Score Games 69%
52% Over 2.5 Goals 69%
48% Under 2.5 Goals 31%
  • There have been 29 matches between the two sides, the hosts enjoying ten wins against the visitor’s 1, with the other nine ending as draws.
  • Alassane Plea and Marcus Thuram will be the best players on the field with ten goals each while Freiburg’s Nils Petersen, who has nine goals, will be his team’s best goal threat.
  • In direct matches, both teams have scored an average of 2.86 goals per game.
  • This season both have both not enjoyed a stellar goal-scoring season as both are below the two goals average, Freiburg (1.69) against Borussia’s (1.82).

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
10/01/2020 Bundesliga Monchengladbach 2 – 1 Freiburg Plea 49’
01/12/2019 Bundesliga Monchengladbach 4 – 2 Freiburg Thuram 3′
15/03/2019 Bundesliga Monchengladbach 1 – 1 Freiburg Grifo 10’
26/10/2018 Bundesliga Freiburg 3 – 1 Monchengladbach Hazard 20’
05/05/2018 Bundesliga Monchengladbach 3 – 1 Freiburg Hazard 18’

Conclusion & Betting Tips

One of the biggest surprises in the Bundesliga behind closed doors is how much the lack of crowd has changed the usual trend of results. Away wins are much more common than they ever (home wins are down from 43.3% to just 18.5%).

We would typically expect a home team with European qualification in their grasp to edge it, but this seems unlikely in this game.

All things considered, we feel Monchengladbach will win this, with likely score lines being 1-2 or 1-3. Therefore the Over 2.5 goals market @8/11 seems a sensible bet. We also fancy Marcus Thuram to score at any time. A price of 7/5 looks attractive.

Don’t forget that bet365 are streaming all Bundesliga games this season; you don’t need to bet, just ensure you have a positive balance.