Beyer Leverkusen against Borussia Monchengladbach at the Bay Arena on Sunday sees a battle between two of the Bundesliga’s best young goalkeepers in Bernd Leno and Marc-Andre Ter Stegan (2.30pm BST, Sunday, Sept 23).
Leverkusen need to bounce back from their 3-0 loss to champions Borussia Dortmund last weekend. Leverkusen haven’t started too well and there is certainly a lot of work that needs to be done to make up ground.
Manager Sami Hyypia will be looking for a strong performance this weekend from his side, particularly goalkeeper Bernd Leno, who was signed permanently midway through last season from Stuttgart.
Leno is one of the most promising keepers in Germany, a leading shot stopper among a host of outstanding talents. He’ll play a big part in keeping Leverkusen in this game.
As I’ve said before, Stefan Kiessling is not a striker who fills me with a lot of confidence, but the manager will be relying on something from him in attack. Kiessling will find support on the day from Andre Schurrle and Castro from the wide positions.
You could really see the quality divide between Leverkusen and Dortmund last weekend, as the champions didn’t find too much resistance from the visitors at Signal Iduna Park. Castro had a good opportunity in the first half, but other than that Roman Weidenfeller had a quiet afternoon in the Dortmund goal.
Monchengladbach have spent very well this summer, picking up a number of talents well under the radar. They have re-shaped a squad that saw Marco Reus and defender Dante leave for Dortmund and Bayern Munich, respectively.
The big signing in attack is Luuk de Jong from Twente. The Dutchman had an excellent season last term, bagging 29 goals in all competitions while in Holland. Despite Gladbach’s loss last weekend, De Jong looked very good and came close with a spectacular overhead kick that hit the post.
I expect a big year from de Jong this season. He’s a natural predator around the penalty area and he is a player who received a lot of attention from big Premier League clubs this season. His signing was a real coup for Gladbach.
Manager Lucia Favre is one of Germany’s brightest, having saved Gladbach from relegation two years ago and guiding them to a European finish last season. Gladbach really were one of the teams to watch last year.
Alvaro Dominguez and Granit Xhaka also arrived during the summer, and both help to make up a very promising squad at Borussia Park.
Watch out for Patrick Herrmann, a young attacking forward who is likely to operate from the wide positions. He formed a very good understanding with Marco Reus and Mike Hanke last season.
Leverkusen v Monchengladbach Betting Tips Verdict
Gladbach have a win, draw and a loss after three games this season, but I fancy them to be a little stronger than Bayer Leverkusen this weekend.
As mentioned, Bernd Leno should be busy in the Leverkusen goal and will need to be in top form to ensure a result for the home side.