Two of Bundesliga’s European hopefuls meet in the Borussenderby on Saturday, when Borussia Monchengladbach host Borussia Dortmund at Borussia-Park.
Although not a regional derby, this match still has that little bit extra at stake when the two sides meet, and entertaining encounters usually follow.
Monchengladbach have struggled to hit the ground running in the new Bundesliga campaign so far, under new manager Adi Hutter.
Predecessor Marco Rose left for Saturday’s opponents Dortmund in the summer, and Hutter was brought in from Eintracht Frankfurt to get the Foals back into European competition.
However, despite a promising opening day draw at home to reigning champions Bayern Munich, Gladbach have been unable to kick on from there.
Three defeats in four games have followed since, although these all came away from home, with the exception being a 3-1 win over Arminia Bielefeld in the only other match on home soil since the draw with Bayern.
Last weekend saw the third of the run of defeats away from home, when Hutter’s side fell 1-0 at struggling Augsburg.
The visitors controlled the match in terms of possession, but the manager will be deeply concerned with his players’ lack of threat and creativity in the final third, with the side failing to register a shot on target all game.
Gladbach will now look to this weekend’s clash with the hope that their positive results and performances so far have both arrived at Borussia-Park.
Dortmund boss Rose comes up against his previous employers for the first time since leaving for Signal Iduna Park in the summer, after two relatively successful seasons in charge of Saturday’s opponents.
Rose has certainly continued with Dortmund’s existing style and habits in the early stages of his tenure so far, with BVB demonstrating devastating attacking play and finishing, whilst leaving the back door open on an alarmingly regular basis as usual.
Thankfully for the new man so far, the talents of Erling Braut Haaland in particular have ensured that the Black and Yellows have outscored their opponents on the majority of occasions in these early stages of the Bundesliga campaign.
The Norwegian striker has already contributed seven goals and three assists in the opening five matches, which has helped lift his side to third place currently, after four wins and a single defeat.
However, conceding 11 goals in those five league encounters is a trend that cannot continue if Rose and his side wish to finally lead a consistent push for the title with Bayern Munich.
The former Gladbach manager now leads his Dortmund side back to familiar surroundings on Saturday, with the hope that his new side’s strong recent record against his old one can continue – prior to last season’s defeat at Borussia-Park, the visitors had enjoyed 11 straight league wins over their Borussia rivals.
Borussia Monchengladbach Bundesliga form:
Borussia Monchengladbach form (all competitions):
Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga form:
Borussia Dortmund form (all competitions):
We say: Borussia Monchengladbach 1-3 Borussia Dortmund
On paper it appears as though this should be a highly entertaining and open game of football. With Dortmund’s woeful defending so far this season, they are sure to concede one or two goals again against a strong opponent, but the devastating form of Haaland and co in the forward line should see them over the line once more.