bundesliga.com looks ahead to the heavyweight tussle at the Borussia-Park...
Aside from the prestige of beating Bayern, victory for the hosts could act as a dam-breaker for the rest of the league, stripping Pep Guardiola's charges of their present air of invincibility, as well as allowing other sides the chance to make up ground at the top. A win for the visitors would, of course, have the opposite effect.
Foals coach Lucien Favre has a full squad available to him on Sunday, including (l.), who missed the club’s Europa League tie on Thursday through illness. “It’s very good for us that we’ve largely been spared injuries so far,” Favre said. The Swiss tactician is expected to rotate his starting XI though, having done so to good effect thus far.
Bayern, on the other hand, have plenty of absentees, with Bastian Schweinsteiger (fitness), Thiago (knee), Holger Badstuber (thigh), Javi Martinez (cruciate ligament), Pepe Reina (calf) and Tom Starke (ankle) all certain to miss out. is likely to be on the bench, with new signing set to start at centre-back instead of Dante.
Several sides have created clear-cut scoring chances against Bayern this season - just ask Wolfsburg, Paderborn and Hannover - but the trouble has been finishing them off. That is why striker - who has been directly involved in seven of Gladbach’s 12 Bundesliga goals this term - will be crucial to Gladbach’s cause on Sunday.
Almost any member of the Bayern side can turn the tide of a game in an instant, but currently it is who is in particularly fine form. The 22-year-old, who is often impossible to mark as he drifts into pockets of space, is the league’s leading scorer on six goals at present, while he has created 30 goalscoring chances in his seven league games thus far.
Pep Guardiola (r.), Bayern coach: “They’re a team that should be in the Champions League. They’re a great side and have very dangerous wingers.”
Christoph Kramer: “We can beat them: we need to have a really good day and Bayern can’t have their best day.”
Both sides are in great shape and are unbeaten in all competitions so far this season. Bayern have won their last four league outings, while they come into the game on the back of a rampant 7-1 victory over AS Roma. Gladbach also recorded a big win midweek, demolishing Apollon Limassol 5-0 in the Europa League on Thursday.
Bayern have won almost half of all Bundesliga matches these two have contested, taking the spoils 45 times from 92 encounters and five from the last ten, including each of the three most recent meetings. Gladbach have won just 20 times, with 27 draws.
Gladbach: Sommer - Korb, Stranzl, Jantschke, Wendt - Nordtveit, Xhaka - Hahn, Raffael, Johnson - Kruse
Bayern: Neuer - Benatia, J Boateng, Alaba - Lahm, Alonso, Bernat - Robben, Müller, Götze - Lewandowski