Borussia Monchengladbach will be looking to close the gap on the Bundesliga’s top four when they travel to face Wolfsburg on Sunday (5pm kick-off UK time).
Marco Rose’s side are currently seventh after 20 games, four points behind fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt and eight behind Wolfsburg in third.
How to live stream Wolfsburg vs Borussia Monchengladbach online:
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Where to watch Wolfsburg vs Borussia Monchengladbach on TV:
- UK: BT Sport 2
- US: ESPN+
Scoreline prediction: Wolfsburg 2-1 Borussia Monchengladbach
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Wolfsburg vs Borussia Monchengladbach build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Wolfsburg haven’t been in the Champions League since 2015/16 when they reached the quarter-finals, but they look on their way to Europe’s premier club competition once more. But it’s not been an easy journey. While en route to the quarter-finals, Wolfsburg were struggling in the league and missed out on European football altogether for 2016/17. Things got even worse over the next two seasons with Wolfsburg only keeping their Bundesliga status by winning the relegation play-offs.
Those days are long gone though and after two top seven finishes, bringing Europa League football, Wolfsburg are currently third in the league, three points clear of fifth and in control of their Champions League destiny. Alongside Bayern Munich and Eintracht Frankfurt, Wolfsburg have only lost two games in the Bundesliga this season and have the second-best defence, testament to the work Oliver Glasner has done.
While Wolfsburg have been working their way up the table, Gladbach are in danger of moving down, currently outside the Champions League place, still struggling thanks to their slow start in the Bundesliga. The Foals won just one of their opening four games, a run which included a 3-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund on the opening day, and haven’t been able to string together more than two consecutive wins since.
They go into this weekend off the back of two games without a win, drawing with Union Berlin and losing against FC Koln, which will come as a blow after their big 4-2 win over Borussia Dortmund shortly before. But a win over Wolfsburg this weekend would help them close the gap on one of the teams above them, keeping their Champions League hopes alive.
- Wolfsburg (vs Augsburg): Casteels; Mbabu, Lacroix, Brooks, Paulo Otavio; Arnold, Schlager; Baku, Gerhardt, Steffen; Weghorst.
- Borussia Monchengladbach (vs FC Koln): Sommer; Lainer, Ginter, Jantschke, Wendt; Neuhaus, Zakaria*; Herrmann, Stindl, Wolf; Embolo.
Denis Zakaria is the only potential absentee for either side this weekend, but Gladbach are likely to bring the likes of Marcus Thuram and Alassane Plea back into the starting XI.
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Players to watch:
- Wolfsburg: Wout Weghorst gets a lot of the plaudits for Wolfsburg being where they are this season, being directly involved in half of their Bundesliga goals (scoring 14 and adding two assists) but their defence, and in particular Koen Casteels should get a lot of credit. The Belgian has been Wolfsburg’s number one goalkeeper for a few seasons now, quietly improving alongside the team to become one of the top shot-stoppers in Germany. Casteels has so far kept conceded 18 goals and kept eight clean sheets, the latter only bettered by RB Leipzig’s Peter Gulacsi. But his save percentage is the most impressive thing. The 28-year-old has saved 73.13% of the shots on target he has faced in the Bundesliga this season, bettered only by Loris Karius’ 100% (one save) and Wolfsburg teammate Pavao Pervan’s 85.71% (six saves). So out of all the first-choice goalkeepers, he’s number one.
- Borussia Monchengladbach: If Gladbach are to breach the Wolfsburg defence they will need the likes of Alassane Plea to step up. The Frenchman was excellent last season to help Gladbach finish in the top four, scoring 10 goals and recording 10 assists, one of only a handful of players across Europe’s top five leagues to hit at least 10 of each. But it’s been an underwhelming campaign so far for Plea (and most of his attacking teammates), who has just three goals and one assist after 16 games, though he has only played the full 90 minutes twice. Plea was a substitute against Koln last week but for such a big game, he may be reinstated into the team this weekend and he’ll need to make it count.
Bundesliga 2020/21 recent form:
- Wolfsburg: WWWWD
- Borussia Monchengladbach: LDWWD
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