Thomas Tuchel has the onerous task of breaking a resilient football hoodoo spell Borussia Moenchengladbach has cast on Bayern Munich when the Bundesliga champions travel to Borussia Park on Saturday evening. Gladbach were the Bavarians’ biggest rivals during their heady days in the 1970s when they won five German top flight titles. Gerardo Seoane’s side have since sunk into mid-table mediocrity but they always push the Bavarians giants to the outer limits. No Bundesliga side boasts a better head to head record with the Rekordmeisters on the winning side in just two out of their last ten encounters.
A Champions League winner with Chelsea, Tuchel has spent the last seven days trying to fine tune Bayern Munich into an unstoppable juggernaut. Having sold Yann Sommer to Inter Milan, the former Mainz and Borussia Dortmund coach isn’t satisfied with cover for injured skipper Manuel Neuer. A deadline day replacement should arrive at the Allianz Arena to cover for San Siro bound World Cup winning right back Benjamin Pavard who is moving because he wants to play as a centre half.
The division’s most expensive signing, Harry Kane, will lead the visitors line as he aims to improve on his three goal haul that has propelled Bayern to victories over Werder Bremen (4-0) and Augsburg (3-1). Seoane is back to the drawing board as the Foals were listless in falling 0-3 to Bayer Leverkusen on match day two. Seoane will feel he hasn’t been properly backed in the transfer market to atone for the departure of experienced stalwarts Marcus Thuram, Jonas Hofmann and Lars Stindl.
Just as fascinating is the Sunday duel between Urs Fischer’s table topping Union Berlin and Marco Rose’s RB Leipzig. The side from the capital are surpassing expectations by playing on the front foot to secure identical 4-1 victories over Mainz and Darmstadt but in Leipzig they will be up against their equals. The two time defending German Cup winners’ 5-1 victory over Stuttgart last weekend restored confidence after the upwardly mobile moneybags had lost 2-3 at Bayer Leverkusen on the opening weekend.
Bundesliga action commences on Friday night at Signal Iduna Park where Borussia Dortmund host newcomers Heidenheim. Runners up in seven out of the last ten Bundesliga season, Edin Terzic’s Black and Yellows are struggling to score goals. The 1997 European champions only overcame Cologne 1-0 on match day one, before being held to a one-all draw at Bochum. Xabi Alonso’s impressive Bayer Leverkusen are aiming to maintain their one hundred percent winning record when they entertain Darmstadt on Saturday afternoon.
Borussia Dortmund v Heidenheim
Bayer Leverkusen v Darmstadt,
Augsburg v Bochum,
Hoffenheim v Augsburg,
Stuttgart v Freiburg,
Werder Bremen v Mainz
Gladbach v Bayern Munich
Frankfurt v Cologne
Union Berlin v RB Leipzig