Andreas Möller won the Bundesliga with Dortmund and the DFB Cup with Schalke, but he cannot see beyond Bayern for the title this season
Andreas Möller won the Bundesliga with Dortmund and the DFB Cup with Schalke, but he cannot see beyond Bayern for the title this season

Möller: 'Gladbach can beat Bayern'

Munich - Andreas Möller won the Bundesliga and the UEFA Champions League with Borussia Dortmund. With FC Schalke 04, he lifted the DFB Cup and with Eintracht Frankfurt, he went within a whisker of winning another league title.

On the eve of the second half of the Bundesliga season, caught up with the 46-year-old World and European Champion to receive a run down of the state of play in the Bundesliga. Mr. Möller, on Friday, Borussia Mönchengladbach get the second half of the season underway against FC Bayern München. What kind of game are you expecting?

Andreas Möller: Two really strong teams are set to go head-to-head in Mönchengladbach, and FC Bayern remain the hot favourites to win the league. Gladbach are strong again, though, and they're fighting for a place in the UEFA Champions League, so it's going to be an interesting encounter and it's not going to be an easy game for Bayern. Gladbach are strong at home and this is an intriguing match to get the second half of the season under way. Do Gladbach have what it takes to trouble Bayern?

Möller: I think so. They have a solid, settled side and, if they play extraordinarily well, they are capable of beating even Bayern, so why shouldn't they? What would defeat mean for Bayern?

Möller: Not that much, really. Even if they were to slip up against Gladbach, they are still a cut above and FC Bayern are going to run away with the league. Behind Bayern, it still seems wide open from second down to seventh. Who do you expect to finish behind them, Bayer 04 Leverkusen?

Möller: Leverkusen are playing really well this season and, behind Bayern, I think they're the most consistent side. They've played well in the Champions League too and I think they'll qualify for the competition again. Are Borussia Dortmund also a candidate for the top three, once they have all of their players back from injury?

Möller: Yes. Dortmund have got to roll up their sleeves. They're an ambitious club and want to get into the Champions League. BVB's problem has been a miserable string of injuries, and that mustn't be forgotten. It's hard for a team even like Dortmund to cope when their entire defence is out. That's really tough, but I still think they will qualify for the Champions League in the end. VfL Wolfsburg have strengthened their squad again with Kevin De Bruyne arriving from Chelsea FC. Is that a warning to their rivals?

Möller: It certainly indicates that Wolfsburg are on the attack. VfL want more than their current league position. Can Gladbach keep the same level up all season?

Möller: When you're in such a good position after the first half of the season, then of course your aim has got to be to defend that position with all your might. Gladbach have laid the foundations to be able to do that. Schalke lost warm-up games against Köln and Oberhausen. They've also had some injury misfortune. How do you rate your ex-club's chances?

Möller: Schalke have also had lots of injuries: Huntelaar, Draxler and Höwedes are decisive players who have been missing for a long time. If they get all hands back on deck quickly, then they too can aim for fourth place. At the moment, though, they're going to have to put in a great deal of effort to achieve their goals for the season. It's going to be really tight. It's doable, and a four-point deficit can still be made up, but they need to put a run together fast. At the bottom of the table, your former club Frankfurt are in danger. How risky is it going to be for them?

Möller: Eintracht are going to have nothing to do with relegation, just like HSV. Frankfurt have a large squad and they can cope with playing in two competitions still. Nürnberg have a fight on their hands, as do Freiburg and Braunschweig. It's going to be difficult for them.

Interview by Tobias Gonscherowski