Borussia Mönchengladbach had a disappointing end to last season, and the Colts have continued to disappoint this season. Unfortunately, it won’t get any easier this week when they play host to Borussia Dortmund, who is off to a fast start, particularly in the attacking end of the field. The visitors from Dortmund are heavy favorites with a -124 moneyline while Borussia Mönchengladbach’s moneyline is listed at +317. There is also a moneyline of +332 for a draw.
Mönchengladbach actually got off to a promising start this season when the Colts managed a draw with reigning champion Bayern Munich in the season opener. But that result was followed by three losses in their next four games. That stretch began with a disheartening 4-0 loss to Bayer Leverkusen but also included more puzzling losses to Augsburg and Union Berlin, both of which are clubs that Mönchengladbach expects to beat.
The biggest surprise of the season has been a lack of offense from Mönchengladbach. The Colts scored the fourth-most goals in the Bundesliga last season but have managed just five goals in five matches thus far. Keep in mind that three of those five matches came against clubs that Mönchengladbach should be able to handle. To his credit, Lars Stindl is off to a solid start with two goals and one assist. But after a summer of rumors, playmaker Jonas Hofmann has gotten off to a slow start and then missed last week’s loss to Augsburg. Marcus Thurman is also out with an injury, and so Stindl doesn’t have the same supporting cast around him as he did last season.
Of course, Mönchengladbach wasn’t exactly a stout defensive team last season, so the Colts can’t be expected to win matches on the back of their defense. Somehow, they only allowed one goal in their season opener against Bayern Munich. But they’ve conceded multiple goals in three of their other four Bundesliga games. On paper, the center-back tandem of Nico Elvedi and Matthias Ginter should be one of the best in Germany. But the Colts are young at full-back and like to play a style that can sometimes put a lot of pressure on the backline.
The early part of Dortmund’s season has been nothing if not entertaining. Goals are pouring in from both sides with 28 total goals being scored in BVB’s five Bundesliga games. Somehow, the Black and Yellows have managed to win four of those five games while also winning their first match of the Champions League season. They currently have 12 points, putting them just one point behind both Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg at the top of the table.
As mentioned, it’s been a smorgasbord of goals for Dortmund thus far. Norwegian international Erling Haaland stayed in Dortmund over the summer and is scorching hot at the moment, scoring seven of his team’s 17 Bundesliga goals this season. He also leads the team with three assists while Marco Reus and Thomas Meunier have added two assists each. At the moment, there is some question about who will score goals if it’s not Haaland. Only two players have netted more than one goal for Dortmund in five matches, and one of those players is American Gio Reyna, who has been sidelined by an injury. But with Haaland playing up top, Dortmund is confident that the goals will come.
The problem for the Black and Yellows is that they can’t seem to stop conceding goals. Giving up 11 goals over five matches isn’t ideal, nor is it a sustainable way to win games, even with one of the best young strikers in the world. Right now, Dortmund looks sloppy and disorganized in the back with the team’s full-backs doing far more offensively than they are in the defensive half of the field. With multiple goals conceded in four of five Bundesliga games, Marco Rose needs to find some answers on the defensive end.
With the way Mönchengladbach has played lately, Borussia Dortmund should be able to keep up its top form despite their defensive shortcomings. Mönchengladbach isn’t solid enough defensively to keep Haaland and company from putting a few goals in the back of the net. The Colts also don’t have enough of their key players healthy to take full advantage of a porous Dortmund defense. Look for both teams to score goals with Dortmund scoring more and taking all three points.
Pick: 3-1, Dortmund.