MX23RW : Thursday, July 29 08:17:54| >> :600:134143:134143:
Nov 8, 2020 at 5pm UK at BayArena
B. LeverkusenBayer Leverkusen
4-3
Borussia M'bachBorussia Monchengladbach
Alario (27', 41'), Bailey (68'), Baumgartlinger (82')
Hradecky (18'), Bender (51'), Wirtz (84'), Diaby (86')
FT(HT: 2-2)
Stindl (18' pen., 29'), Lazaro (90+4')
Embolo (46'), Bensebaini (45+4')

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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Bundesliga match between Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Bayer Leverkusen host Borussia Monchengladbach on Sunday, with the two sides separated by a point in the 2020-21 Bundesliga table.

Gladbach narrowly edged out their forthcoming opponents in securing the last Champions League qualification spot on the final day of last season, so this will be seen as a huge match by both managers and sets of fans.


Match preview

Bayer Leverkusen's Kerem Demirbay in action with Wolfsburg's Wout Weghorst in the Bundesliga in May 2020© Reuters

After drawing their opening three matches of the season, Leverkusen have since won three league matches in a row to fly up the table.

Having sold forwards Kai Havertz and Kevin Volland to Chelsea and Monaco respectively in the summer transfer window, there were understandable teething problems early in the season even if Peter Bosz's side did remain unbeaten.

Patrik Schick, who spent last season on loan at RB Leipzig, was brought in from Roma in an attempt to replace some of the goals the club had lost with the two aforementioned departures, but the Czech Republic striker's injury has instead opened the door for Lucas Alario to prove his mettle.

Indeed, the Argentine forward's brace in last weekend's thrilling 4-2 win at Freiburg was his second in two successive matches to extend his tally to five league goals in five appearances. Leverkusen rode their luck at times throughout the victory, with Lucas Holer in excellent form for the hosts and Sven Bender's red card being downgraded to a yellow after a VAR check, but ultimately had a little too much for their opponents.

Bosz's side certainly have plenty of firepower at present - as they showed in another 4-2 victory away to Hapoel Be'er Sheva in the Europa League on Thursday - which will certainly keep Gladbach on their toes throughout a key battle on Sunday.

Borussia Monchengladbach manager Marco Rose pictured in February 2020© Reuters

Gladbach, meanwhile, are also in excellent form having won three of their last four league matches, with an excellent 1-0 victory over Leipzig last weekend securing another three points.

Marco Rose's side looked like taking the lead when Dayot Upamecano's attempted pass into midfield was intelligently intercepted by Patrick Herrmann, who perhaps passed a little too late to Alassane Plea in a dangerous two-on-one situation, with the French striker's effort struck tamely down the throat of Peter Gulasci.

However, Hannes Wolf, on loan from Leipzig, fired into the far post to give Gladbach the lead after Plea's cross was cleverly teed into Wolf's path by Herrmann. Plea later struck the post with Gladbach's lead only ever looking like being extended in a surprisingly comfortable victory against a top-four rival.

Rose's side backed up that win by recording their largest ever European victory with a 6-0 win at Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League. Plea was in tremendous form, scoring a hat-trick, with Gladbach now in a commanding position to progress to the knockout stages for the first time in the club's history.

Attention must now return to domestic matters, however, with avoiding losing ground on Leverkusen the primary aim of Sunday's meeting.

Bayer Leverkusen Bundesliga form: DDDWWW
Bayer Leverkusen form (all competitions): WWWLWW

Borussia Monchengladbach Bundesliga form: LDWDWW
Borussia Monchengladbach form (all competitions): DDWDWW


Team News

Bayer Leverkusen manager Peter Bosz pictured in February 2019© Reuters

Leverkusen will remain without Paulinho and Santiago Arias for the foreseeable future after their cruciate ligament rupture and fibula fracture respectively.

Schick is still absent with a torn muscle, so Alario will continue to lead the line in his absence. Bosz will be hoping the Argentine can fire his side to another victory.

Jordan Beyer is absent until after the international break due to coronavirus, while Denis Zakaria is still struggling with fitness issues and is unlikely to feature. Andreas Poulsen remains out with a shoulder injury.

Marcus Thuram is likely to start having only come on as a substitute in the win against Leipzig last week.

Bayer Leverkusen possible starting lineup:
Hradecky; L. Bender, S. Bender, Tapsoba, Sinkgraven; Wirtz, Baumgartlinger, Amiri; Bailey, Alario, Diaby

Borussia Monchengladbach possible starting lineup:
Sommer; Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini; Hofmann, Neuhaus; Herrmann, Stindl, Thuram; Plea


SM words green background

We say: Bayer Leverkusen 2-2 Borussia Monchengladbach

In any normal weekend, this would be the match to look out for, but obviously it may be overshadowed by Der Klassiker on Saturday.

Regardless, this should be a hugely entertaining affair between two sides who look full of goals at present and are likely to be closely competing for a Champions League qualification spot by the end of the season. We can see a high scoring draw.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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Borussia Monchengladbach players celebrate after Alassane Plea scores against Shakhtar Donetsk on November 3, 2020
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States13141037
ChinaChina136928
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Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events


ROWING
· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

HOCKEY
· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

CANOE SLALOM
· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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