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Preview: Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Bayer Leverkusen - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen, including team news and predicted lineups.

Both Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen will be looking to build on impressive victories last time out when they lock horns in the Bundesliga on Saturday afternoon.

Gladbach returned to action with a 3-1 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend, while Leverkusen thumped Werder Bremen 4-1 away from home on Monday night.

Match preview

Borussia Monchengladbach manager Marco Rose pictured in February 2020© Reuters

The eyes of the world were on the Bundesliga last weekend as the league resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic. All things considered, the first round of matches in more than two months was a success, and the authorities will be hoping for another smooth set of fixtures in the coming days.

Gladbach recorded a 2-1 home victory over Koln in March before the league was called to a halt and made it back-to-back victories with a 3-1 success away to Frankfurt last weekend.

Head coach Marco Rose will surely have been delighted with what he saw from his side on their return to action, and the 43-year-old will be eyeing another three points on Saturday afternoon.

Gladbach are currently third in the Bundesliga table, two points off second-placed Borussia Dortmund and just six behind leaders Bayern Munich on the same number of matches.

They have also won each of their last three league meetings with Leverkusen during a strong run of form, including a 2-1 success in the reverse fixture earlier this season.

Bayer Leverkusen celebrate Kai Havertz's second goal against Werder Bremen on May 18, 2020© Reuters

Leverkusen, meanwhile, were also impressive on their return to action last time out, recording a 4-1 success away to Werder Bremen. The much-coveted Kai Havertz scored twice for Die Werkself, who are actually unbeaten in Germany's top flight since the start of February.

In fact, Peter Bosz's side have only lost one of their last 10 in the Bundesliga and have won five of their last six, scoring eight times in their last two victories.

Leverkusen are, without question, a side in excellent form, and they currently sit fifth in the table, just two points off third-placed Gladbach ahead of what is a very important fixture on Saturday afternoon.

There is still a lot of football to be played before the end of the season, but the fact that Bosz's team are just four points off second-placed Dortmund at this stage is impressive, and the former Champions League finalists will be eyeing their highest finish in Germany's top flight since claiming second in 2010-11.

Gladbach Bundesliga form: WDWLWW

Leverkusen Bundesliga form: WWWDWW
Leverkusen form (all competitions): WDWWWW

Team News

Kai Havertz pictured for Bayer Leverkusen in February 2020© Reuters

Gladbach will again be without the services of both Fabian Johnson and Denis Zakaria from injury, but the team did not pick up any fresh concerns against Frankfurt last time out.

Patrick Herrmann came off the bench against Frankfurt and is in contention to start, although it would not be a surprise to see Rose send the same starting XI onto the field.

Indeed, two of the front three - Alassane Plea and Marcus Thuram - were on the scoresheet, while Breel Embolo should keep his spot as the central striker despite Rose having plenty of other options.

As for Leverkusen, Havertz, who continues to be linked with the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Barcelona, scored twice from the centre-forward spot against Werder Bremen and could well feature in that area of the field once again.

Leon Bailey and Karim Bellarabi are obvious options to come into the away side's starting XI, but Moussa Diaby - thought to be attracting the attention of Arsenal - is likely to keep his position.

Lars Bender and Kevin Volland, meanwhile, remain on the treatment table for Bosz's team.

Gladbach possible starting lineup:
Sommer; Rainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini; Neuhaus, Strobl; Plea, Hofmann, Thuram; Embolo

Leverkusen possible starting lineup:
Hradecky; Weiser, Tapsoba, Bender, Sinkgraven; Aranguiz, Demirbay; Diaby, Amiri, Wirtz; Havertz

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We say: Gladbach 1-1 Leverkusen

This is a tough game to call for a number of reasons. Both teams will be full of confidence following their results last weekend, while the pair had been in strong form before the league was halted. All things considered, we are finding it hard to separate them and have therefore tipped a low-scoring draw.

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Todays Game Header Right
2Bayern MunichBayern4310134910
3Borussia DortmundDortmund430113949
4Mainz 0543016249
6Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen421112667
7FC Koln42118627
8Union BerlinUnion Berlin41305416
9Hertha Berlin5203712-56
12Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach411258-34
13RB Leipzig410356-13
14VfL BochumVfL Bochum410346-23
15Arminia Bielefeld403135-23
16Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt403147-33
18Greuther Furth5014313-101

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