Real Madrid visits a confident Mönchengladbach team on Matchday 2 of the Champions League as they look to make amends for last weeks disaster.

Group B is one of the toughest of the lots and Real Madrid’s loss in the opening Matchday has them in somewhat of an unfamiliar situation. A trip to Germany would certainly not be the easiest, but Los Blancos would look to replicate their performance from the El Classico and open their account in the Champions League.

Real Madrid’s Champions League season begun with a staggering loss to last year’s Europa League semi-finalists, Shakhtar Donetsk, at home. Sergio Ramos was unable for that game and surely his absence was felt. His presence could be the defining factor in this match for Real in this encounter.

Borussia Mönchengladbach have become a force to reckon with under Marco Rose. They were impressive in the first Champions League game where they took a point away from Inter Milan, after leading the game till the 90th minute.

The Fouls even managed to rest key players and win 3 points versus Mainz in a heroic comeback this weekend in the Bundesliga. The team is absolutely buzzing at the moment, and the game could pan out to be extremely entertaining.

Team News & Tactics

Borussia Mönchengladbach

Marco Rose gave valuable rests to the likes of Neuhaus, Thuram, Hofmann and Plea who all made short cameos from the bench in an emphatic comeback win versus Mainz. All of these star players would look to make a return to the first team and look to cause an upset versus the big boys of the Champions League.

The captain, Lars Stindl, would look to return to the starting line up for the crucial game after coming off the bench in the game versus Inter Milan. Stindl’s return could see Embolo moving to the bench and offering a threatening option from the bench.

Denis Zakaria has returned to training but it would be unlikely to see him return straight into the starting line up. The Swiss midfielder has caught the eye of some Premier League clubs and would look to get back to full fitness soon and further impress his onlookers.

The player who has really been the talk of the town after Matchday one is Florian Neuhaus for his audacious assist for Hofmann’s goal. The German midfielder has 2 goals and 3 assists this season and looks like the primary playmaker of the team under Marco Rose. His battle with Real’s midfield would be one to watch out for.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Sommer; Bensebaini, Elvedi, Ginter, Lainer; Neuhaus, Kramer; Thuram, Stindl, Hofmann; Plea

Real Madrid

Real Madrid would be fresh and buzzing from a 3-1 victory versus Barcelona, a game which saw many players perform incredibly well for the Los Blancos. Ramos’ return to the starting line-up was instrumental in that win and would be instrumental versus Mönchengladbach as well.

Talking about crucial returns, Eden Hazard has been declared fit and has travelled with the squad to Germany. It is unlikely that the Belgian star would start the game, but an appearance from the bench would surely be awaited as fans all around the world cannot wait for him to come back.

Valverde could start over Modric yet again after impressing in the El Classico. The Uruguayan scored the opener and marshalled all of the opponent’s threats with conviction. He is a powerhouse and his energy complemented with Kroos’ elegance could bode well for Madrid.

Marcelo did not feature in the El Classico and could slot in at left-back with Ferland Mendy playing out of position on the right side. Zidane’s other alternative would be to stick with Mendy on the left and put faith in makeshift right-back Lucas Vasquez who came on for the injured Nacho Fernandez and looked solid.

Asensio and Vinicius Junior should retain their starting berths despite struggling a little versus Barcelona in the league. Benzema and Casemiro would naturally be the first names on the teamsheet.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Courtois; Marcelo, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Valverde; Vinicius Junior, Benzema, Asensio.

Key Stats

  • Real Madrid are unbeaten in their last nine matches against German teams in European competitions ( W6, D3), since a 2-0 defeat to Wolsfurg in 2016.
  • After suffering three defeats in their last three games, Real Madrid faces the possibility of making it 4 losses in a row for the first time in the Champions League history of the club.
  • Hofmann has been Gladbach’s most potent attacking force this season with a hand in nine goals in seven games in all competitions – one every 63 minutes.
  • Marcus Thuram has scored twice in Gladbach’s last three European games. This would be his first Champions League home game for the Fouls.
  • Sergio Ramos netted his 100th goal for Real Madrid from the spot vs Barcelona on the weekend

Player To Watch

Jonas Hofmann

The German attacking midfielder can play across the attacking midfield three for Gladbach and is one of Marco Rose’s most prized assets. Hoffman has 4 goals and 5 assists in 7 matches this season and even scored the goal which looked like the winner versus Inter Milan. Likely to attack from the right side, Hofmann could look to exploit the space left behind by the attack-minded Marcelo and hurt Real Madrid.

The German came on from the bench on the weekend and completely changed the completion of the game. He is in red-hot form as he grabbed a goal and assist to complete the comeback from 2-1 to 3-2. Real Madrid would need to make sure that Hofmann is marshalled well.

Prediction

Borussia Mönchengladbach 1 – 2 Real Madrid

While Gladbach look to be in good touch, the Champions League is a competition that belongs to Real Madrid. It is unlikely to see them lose their fourth game in a row, especially after a buzzing victory in the El Classico on the weekend. I predict a narrow victory for the Los Blancos.

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