Preview: Borussia Monchengladbach vs. RB Leipzig

Preview: Borussia Monchengladbach vs. RB Leipzig

RB Leipzig return to Bundesliga action at Borussia Monchengladbach on Monday evening looking to strengthen their hold on a top-four place.

The visitors saw their long unbeaten run ended last weekend, before bouncing back with a narrow win in the Europa League on Thursday, whilst the hosts grabbed a late equaliser in a six-goal thriller at Freiburg last time out.

After seeing their brief revival in form ended by Rhine rivals FC Koln a week earlier, Gladbach looked to have provided the perfect response to their derby defeat by taking an early two-goal lead at high-flying Freiburg last weekend.

Ramy Bensebaini netted from the penalty spot inside the opening few minutes, before Breel Embolo struck to double their advantage in a clinical and counter-attacking start.

However, some monumental pressure from their hosts saw Adi Hutter’s side collapse to a 3-2 deficit following a poor second half, before captain Lars Stindl stepped off the bench to snatch an equaliser three minutes into stoppage time.

Although the late leveller had a huge impact on their opponents that day, as well as helping out Monday’s opponents Leipzig, the result meant very little to Die Fohlen.

A hugely disappointing campaign has left Gladbach in 11th spot heading into matchday 32, and closer to the relegation places than the continental spots in terms of points.

An unusual struggle at Borussia-Park has certainly contributed, with just two wins from their last nine outings in front of their own supporters, but Monday’s hosts will look to try and end the season on a high to provide the home faithful with something to shout about in the closing weeks of the Bundesliga campaign.

Whilst the hosts have nothing left to play for in the closing stages of the 2021-22 season, visitors Leipzig continue to fight on three fronts in a hectic final few weeks.

A DFB-Pokal final against Freiburg awaits at the end of May, whilst Thursday’s narrow 1-0 victory over Rangers sees Die Roten Bullen take a slender advantage to Glasgow in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final tie next Thursday.

Domenico Tedesco’s side once again struggled to return to their free-flowing best against the Scottish champions at the Red Bull Arena, with their opponents frustrating them for long periods and limiting the influential Christopher Nkunku to little in front of goal.

The Frenchman was guilty of missing Leipzig’s two best opportunities on the night though, before a late volley from Angelino provided the Bundesliga outfit with the narrow advantage ahead of the second leg on Thursday.

However, attentions must turn back to the Bundesliga ahead of Monday’s trip to Gladbach, with Leipzig also having plenty left to play for domestically too.

Last weekend’s shock 2-1 defeat to Union Berlin saw Tedesco’s men drop to fourth spot in the table, although Gladbach’s late leveller against fifth-placed Freiburg meant that their three-point advantage in the Champions League places was only narrowed to two.

The late collapse, with two goals from Union in the final five minutes of normal time, ended Leipzig’s 15-game unbeaten run in all competitions, but Monday’s visitors will be out to bounce back at Borussia-Park in order to edge closer to confirming a place in next season’s Champions League.

Borussia Monchengladbach Bundesliga form:
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RB Leipzig Bundesliga form:
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RB Leipzig form (all competitions):
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We say: Borussia Monchengladbach 1-2 RB Leipzig
This result could well depend on the character of the hosts to keep on pushing in the final few games of the season despite having little left to play for, as well as the fitness of the visitors in between their Europa League semi-final ties.

However, Gladbach have lacked quality and consistency for much of this season, and although Leipzig are not firing on all cylinders at the moment, they should manage to grind out a narrow victory here.

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