Bayern Munich will hope to end their Borussia Monchengladbach nightmare when the two sides face each other on Wednesday.

Bayern Munich are looking to avoid last season’s debacle in the DFB Pokal when they take on Borussia Monchengladbach in the second round this Wednesday.

The German Rekordmeister were forced to perish at this stage last season by second division outfit Holstein Kiel via penalties. It was a disappointing result for the Bundesliga champions that allowed Borussia Dortmund to go all the way and win the coveted competition.

Bayern will be hoping to avoid such a scenario again under the stewardship of new coach Julian Nagelsmann. But they have a daunting challenge at hand, as they take on a Gladbach side that has proven to be difficult opposition for them in recent years.

Since 2018, Bayern have lost more games against Gladbach than they have won. Adi Hutter’s men have endured a difficult season in Bundesliga, collecting only 11 points from nine matches. Their campaign so far has been riddled with inconsistency, even though they did hold Bayern to a goalless draw in the very first game of the season.

The Bavarians, meanwhile, are leading the Bundesliga charts. The champions have fought back valiantly since the 2-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt before the international break, securing massive wins over Bayer Leverkusen, SL Benfica and most recently, TSG Hoffenheim.

Nagelsmann will be eyeing for more of the same against Gladbach this midweek. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over these two sides ahead of this blockbuster tie in the DFB Cup.

Team News & Tactics

Borussia Monchengladbach

Gladbach’s spirited counter-attacking performance saw them clinch a point against Bayern in the very first Bundesliga match of this season. Adi Hutter might want to employ a similar strategy while considering that the Bavarians have drastically improved their wing-play since.

Therefore, there will be pressure on the full-backs Joe Scally and Ramy Bensebaini to remain composed and help out the central defensive duo of Matthias Ginter and Nico Elvedi. Gladbach may also need a heroic display from their star goalkeeper Yann Sommer to help them keep a clean sheet.

On a positive note, the Foals have found a gem in the form of Kouadio Kone. The youngster’s ability to hurry and hassle the ball-carriers, coupled with his tenacity and box-to-box qualities, could be useful alongside the equally hard-working figure of Denis Zakaria.

Moving forward, the hosts have an abundance of offensive quality. Jonas Hofmann brings the creative firepower from the right, while Lars Stindl and Alassane Plea’s positioning sense coupled with Breel Embolo’s raw pace could pose significant problems for the Bayern Munich backline that has struggled against quality attacks.

Hutter has firepower on the bench as well. Florian Neuhaus can come in anytime to offer more creativity in midfield. Patrick Herrmann and Hannes Wolf are dynamic wingers who can provide pace on the flanks, while the young Luca Netz is an alternative for Bensebaini on the left flank.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Sommer; Scally, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini; Zakaria, Kone; Hofmann, Stindl, Plea; Embolo

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Bayern Munich

Julian Nagelsmann will not be available on the touchline once again as he continues his recovery from Covid-19. Nevertheless, with the current technology, it doesn’t seem to make a difference as the young tactical mastermind can always pass on his instructions to the team, even during the game.

For this particular encounter, we might witness a few changes in the starting eleven. Leroy Sane, for one, was rested in the game against TSG Hoffenheim. He is set to return, at the expense of Jamal Musiala, as the winger renews his attacking partnership with Thomas Muller, Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry.

Leon Goretzka should be back to fitness, but he is unlikely to be given a start. In his stead, Marcel Sabitzer may continue operating alongside Joshua Kimmich in the middle of the park. The former RB Leipzig captain offers aggression and tenacity that are paramount when up against the likes of Kone and Zakaria.

Kimmich, too, will have his work cut out against the sophisticated Gladbach press that knows when to exert pressure on the opposing ball-carriers. In fact, this is one of the games where Nagelsmann might consider deploying an inverted full-back.

Unfortunately, the only player capable of operating in such a role is Josip Stanisic. The youngster is fit to start but is unlikely to be favoured ahead of Benjamin Pavard at right-back, while Alphonso Davies should also return to his left-back duties.

The Canadian international will have his defensive responsibilities against the tricky Hofmann. The same can be said for the two central defenders in Niklas Sule and Dayot Upamecano, as they look to cover Manuel Neuer in goal this midweek.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Pavard, Sule, Upamecano, Davies; Sabitzer, Kimmich; Gnabry, Muller, Sane; Lewandowski

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Key Stats

  • Like Lars Stindl, Jonas Hofmann has three goals in all competitions in 2021/22. The Germany international scored two and made another as the Foals beat Bayern 3-2 at home in Bundesliga last season.
  • Three-time winners Gladbach have been knocked out by Bundesliga opposition in the last six editions of the DFB Cup.
  • Robert Lewandowski is on 17 goals in 13 competitive games in 2021/22 but has scored just twice in 19 career meetings with Gladbach.
  • Leroy Sane is Bayern Munich’s next best for total goal involvement so far this term, with six of his own and eight assists.
  • Bayern are record 20-time DFB Cup winners but were eliminated in the second round last season following a penalty shoot-out defeat to Bundesliga 2’s Holstein Kiel.

Player to Watch

Yann Sommer

Gladbach have the excellent Yann Sommer in goal. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Gladbach have the excellent Yann Sommer in goal. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Yann Sommer has often been the star performer for Gladbach in big games. Highly regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in Bundesliga, the Swiss international has a knack for stepping up in crunch fixtures, and the Foals will be hoping for something similar when they take on Bayern Munich this midweek.

When the Bavarians faced Eintracht earlier in the season, Kevin Trapp made the difference with a heroic display. This time around, the onus will be on Sommer to prevent the opposition to find a breakthrough. His experience will be put to the test should this game go to penalties.

Prediction

Borussia Monchengladbach 0-2 Bayern Munich

Borussia Monchengladbach are not an opponent to be taken lightly despite their awful start to the campaign. The Foals had picked up a point against Bayern at the start of the season before dismantling Borussia Dortmund at home a few weeks ago. Adi Hutter’s men will be hoping to reproduce a similar performance in this DFB Pokal fixture on Wednesday.

However, Bayern have come a long way since the opening Bundesliga match. They have looked unstoppable especially after the international break, scoring at least four goals in each of their three games. As such, it won’t be surprising to see them dominate Gladbach and advance to the next round.

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