THE Bundesliga continues on Friday and here Jack Lambden (@_JackL_) sets the scene ahead of Freiburg's fixture with Borussia Monchengladbach.
Freiburg v Borussia Monchengladbach | Friday 5th June 2020, 19:30 | BT Sport
Borussia Monchengladbach’s pursuit of a top four finish is progressing nicely but Marco Rose will know that his team an ill afford to slip up against out-of-form Freiburg on Friday evening.
A win in matchday 30’s opener will put pressure on their rivals Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig heading into their own weekend fixtures and should Gladbach play with the same tempo that they displayed in their most recent success, they should have too much for the home team here.
Rose is likely to stick to the 4-2-3-1 that served the team so well against Union Berlin with the confidence brimming through the side as they dispatched the capital club with relative ease.
To ensure a Champions League spot for next season however, Gladbach’s away form needs to bring itself more in line with how impressive they are on their home turf although, results for travelling teams since the restart and regular behind closed doors games have been above average which holds Die Fohlen in good stead.
On the outrights, it’s hard to look past Gladbach to record another victory and I’m going to add Over 1.5 Goals into the mix to obtain a 21/20 price with Betway. In 16 of Gladbach’s 17 wins this season, the Over 1.5 Goal line has been reached and with the third best Expected Goals (xG) total in the Bundesliga, as well as some great attacking combinations in the current team, I’m happy to back them to repeat that marker for the 18th time in 2019/20.
Freiburg’s record against the teams currently occupying a top five place is not a healthy one – just one win in eight matches. Although the group are always competitive, structured and they work very hard for each other, the strong home record they had at the beginning of the season has petered out more recently and they have now lost five of their last seven at Schwarzwald-Stadion.
Top-billing for Thuram
One man that shone through for Gladbach during the 4-1 hammering of Union was the ever-impressive Marcus Thuram. The Frenchman not only scored twice but was a constant menace to the Berlin resistance as he broke the defensive line repeatedly drifting in from the left-wing.
On the left side of the three in the 4-2-3-1 setup is where Thuram seems to enjoy his best spells in front of goal and if he continues to play there against Freiburg, we could see another man of the match display.
Thuram’s shot count in that position rises from an average of 1.6 per game across the season to 2.5 per match so the Over 2.5 Shot line with Bet365 at 10/11 looks a good way to go, given how many shots Freiburg allow on their own goal – more than any other top-flight side.
The same line is as short as 8/15 elsewhere so there’s value to be had at the 10/11 price. In the reverse fixture, Thuram registered 5 shots – his highest 90 minute total of the season – and following 4 last weekend, I think Gladbach’s top scorer could have another enjoyable game in front of the net.
Staying on the focus of Thuram, I like the boosted 11/2 price with Betfair on the 22 year-old to open the scoring. Given that he looks full of confidence right now, he should be bright from the first whistle. In addition, most of Thuram’s shots this season have come in the first half and Freiburg have conceded the first goal 16 times this campaign – only Frankfurt and Paderborn having done so on more occasions.
With the rule change around increased amounts of substitutes coming into effect, the vast majority of players we see leave the pitch early are attacking ones given how much running they are doing in warm conditions. Therefore, the First Goalscorer punt seems better value than the general 5/4 on Thuram to score anytime in the game.
It’s worth noting that he bagged the opener in the aforementioned reverse game which ended 4-2, a fixture which saw Gladbach record a very high 23 shots of their own.
If Gladbach set the tone early and don’t allow Freiburg to settle into the game (which Leverkusen fell victim to last Friday), it should be another 3 points for Rose and his troops and hopefully a good game to match.