EUROPEAN football fanatic Mark O'Haire (@MarkOHaire) heads to Germany on Sunday for his latest best bet on the continent.
Borussia Monchengladbach v Eintracht Frankfurt | Sunday 27th October 2019, 16:30 | BT Sport
After eight matches Borussia Monchengladbach are the surprise early leaders of the Bundesliga. Marco Rosa’s men retained their place at the summit despite slipping to a narrow 1-0 defeat to 2018/19 runners-up Borussia Dortmund last weekend, topping the table for the first time since 2011 ahead of Wolfsburg on goal difference.
The early pacesetters are the division’s third-highest scorers, as well as boasting the Bundesliga’s second-meanest defence, and can count themselves extremely unlucky not to have picked up at least a point at BVB last weekend. Gladbach created more than enough in the final third to suggest they are in the top-four fight for the long haul.
Rose's preferred front three of Breel Embolo, Alassane Plea and Marcus Thuram have 10 of the Foals’ 15-goal tally between them and returning club captain Lars Stindl will add further thrust in forward areas after recovering from a six-month absence with a broken shin. Not that Sunday’s hosts particularly need extra attacking artillery at this stage.
Gladbach are generating the joint-highest Expected Goals (xG) from open play figure alongside Dortmund, whilst only Bayern Munich and their weekend visitors, Eintracht Frankfurt, are averaging more shots from inside the penalty area. That latter statistic is intriguing considering just six clubs are conceding more in the box attempts than the Foals.
Eintracht electric in the final-third
Two points separate the top nine in a congested top half of the Bundesliga and Eintracht are in the mix. The Eagles saw star trio Sebastien Haller, Luka Jovic and Ante Rebic sold in the summer but canny tactician Adi Hutter has worked minor miracles to seamlessly slot new boys Andre Silva and Bas Dost in alongside Goncalo Paciencia in a threat-filled front three.
Silva, Dost and Paciencia have combined to grab 11 of Frankfurt’s 14 league goals with Filip Kostic continuing to wreak havoc from his role out wide. The latter pair were particularly eye-catching when the Eagles put Leverkusen to the sword last Friday during a 3-0 victory, with Hutter admitting, “The first half was definitely our best of the season so far.”
With Matthias Ginter still out injured and Gladbach facing a tough test in Roma on Thursday night in the Europa League, Eintracht will fancy their chances of causing an upset at Borussia-Park, especially with Hutter’s outfit facing a less strenuous excursion at home to Standard Liege. Nevertheless, there’s more appeal in playing the goals markets on Sunday.
Goals to flow
Eintracht have been one of the most reliable operators for goal-filled games since Hutter arrived on the scene. In 20 away Bundesliga battles, Frankfurt have delivered an average of 3.20 goals per-game as 15/20 (75%) have crossed the Over 2.5 Goals barrier and 14 (70%) have also paid out for Both Teams To Score backers. A repeat surely beckons here.
The guests have fired just two blanks in those 20 tussles and if we take 2019/20 alone, the Eagles have delivered an average of 2.75 xG per-game across their opening eight encounters, seven of which produced Over 2.5 Goals and six clicked for BTTS supporters.
Both Teams To Score and Over 2 Goals is the call at 4/5 (Bet365) and that’s proven a profitable formula in three of Gladbach’s first four home league ties under Rosa. If we head back to the beginning of last season, the Foals have seen 3.15 goals on average at Borussia-Park with 14/21 (67%) Over 2.5 Goals winners, adding further clout to the selection.
The hosts’ eight outings under their current boss are producing 2.93 xG on average with a huge 19 shots from inside the box average taking place in those contests. It suggests a high-scoring shoot-out will be on the cards this Sunday evening, following a familiar pattern when these two teams take on top-half rivals over the past 12 months.
Borussia Monchengladbach v Eintracht Frankfurt – Both Teams To Score and Over 2 Goals (4/5 Bet365)