KAMPALA: Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich are not sitting on their laurels ahead of Saturday’s epic collision with bogey side Gladbach at the Allianz Arena. The Bavarians have begun the season in irresistible form, plundering an average of five goals per game, with last weekend’s 7-0 annihilation of Bochum the latest installment in a series of high power performances.
Julian Nagelsmann’s reigning champions can’t afford to turn off the afterburners against a Gladbach outfit that have won six out of their last ten encounters with the Bavarians. Matter of fact, Nagelsmann is yet to beat the Foals as Bayern Munich boss, interspersing a 0-5 German Cup loss – the heaviest defeat of his Allianz Arena career, with a one-all draw at Borussia Park and 1-2 reverse in front of his own fans.
African footballer of the year Sadio Mane is the player to watch after bagging a brace at the Rhurstadion. The Bavarians’ back four of Matthis de Ligt, Dayot Upamecano, Benjamin Pavard and Alphonso Davis, marshalled by sweeper keeper Manuel Neuer, will have their hands full trying to thwart a Gladbach attack featuring Florian Neuhaus, Jonas Hoffman, Marcus Thuram and Alexander Plea.
Weekend action begins on Friday night with Christian Streich’s high flying Freiburg at home to Bochum. All eyes will however be focused on the match up between Mainz and Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday afternoon as Bay Arena boss Gerardo Seoane tries to arrest a slide that has seen one of the division’s Champions League representatives lose all four competitive fixtures this season.
Seoane got the dreaded vote of confidence from the club CEO earlier this week but he will implore his misfiring forwards to add to the solitary strike they’ve mustered all season. The two other most salivating fixtures witness Domenico Todesco’s RB Leipzig up against Wolfsburg and Borussia Dortmund away to Hertha Berlin. Both Leipzig and Dortmund were expected to challenge Bayern Munich’s hegemony but they are yet to reach peak form.
Freiburg v Bochum
Hertha Berlin v Borussia Dortmund,
Hoffenheim v Augsburg,
Mainz v Bayer Leverkusen,
RB Leipzig v Wolfsburg,
Schalke v Union Berlin,
Bayern Munich v Gladbach
Koln v Stuttgart,
Werder Bremen v Frankfurt