Bundesliga match preview: RB Leipzig v Borussia Mönchengladbach

After facing Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday at the Red Bull Arena, it is back to Bundesliga action for Leipzig in the late game on Saturday as they welcome Borussia Mönchengladbach to Saxony. Die Roten Bullen put in a very good display against the Spanish giants in midweek, but just couldn’t find a way past goalkeeper Andriiy Lunin and were ultimately undone by an exquisite piece of individual genius from Brahim Diaz.

Marco Rose will have taken plenty of positives from the display and will want to see his side take those into their league encounter this weekend. Leipzig’s Bundesliga form continues to see them outside the top four. They lost their opening three matches after the winter break before beating Union Berlin, but a disappointing 2-2 draw with Augsburg last week stopped their upward momentum.

They have been surprisingly open defensively of late and actually have the worst record in 2024 with eleven goals conceded in their five league games so far this year. The return of Willi Orban should help in this regard and coach Marco Rose has restored Peter Gulacsi to the number one spot after Janis Blaswich had deputised so admirably for so long. 

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Leipzig have a pretty good record against Gladbach with no defeats in any of their seven previous meetings. Marco Rose is of course a former Fohllen coach, so will be extra motivated against his former club, although the real motivation is getting RB Leipzig back into the top four in order to secure Champions League football again next season. 

Mönchengladbach continue to be highly inconsistent and their position in the league table will be a worry- especially if the teams below them start winning matches. Gerardo Seoane’s side were the first team this season to keep Bayer Leverkusen scoreless on matchday 19 and then they played well in the first half of their match with Bayern. They were however very disappointing last week at home to Darmstadt when they failed to score against the bottom side in a 0-0 draw.

They have only picked up two points from the last twelve on offer and the fact that they are only a single point above Union Berlin in 15th and just a mere six above Köln doesn’t make for comfortable reading. Leipzig will be a tough challenge this weekend and they then face Bochum next weekend (they are currently level on points). Gladbach then have the Rheinderby against fierce rivals Köln, by which time their position could be even more precarious than it is now.

Team news:

RB Leipzig

RB Leipzig - Wikipedia

Coach Marco Rose doesn’t have any injury or suspension issues so has a full squad to pick from. The decision will be as to how much he freshens up the starting XI after their midweek Champions League match with Real Madrid.  

Possible line-up: Gulacsi – Henrichs, Klostermann, Orban, Raum – Schlager, Haidara – Dani Olmo, Xavi – Openda, Sesko

Borussia Mönchengladbach

File:Borussia Mönchengladbach logo.svg - Wikipedia

Jordan, Robin Hack and Florian Neuhaus all returned to training on Thursday and could make the squad, although a starting place is unlikely. Alassane Plea has had a slight issue with his foot but could be set to make a return to the first XI on Saturday. Tomas Cvancara and goalkeeper Jonas Omlin remain longer-term absentees. 

Possible line-up: Nicolas – Elvedi, Itakura, Wöber – Weigl – Honorat, Reitz, Koné, Netz – Ngoumou, Plea

What they’re saying:

RB Leipzig

Marco Rose“The Gladbachers are defensively stable and defend diligently – they are good at switching. With players like Alassane Pléa, Florian Neuhaus and Julian Weigl, Gladbach also has very good footballers in their own ranks. So we need a really good performance tomorrow.

“They’re great guys, some of whom I’m still in contact with. Back then, I had an exciting and successful time as a coach in Gladbach. We qualified for the Champions League and made it to the round of 16. I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of people again.”

Borussia Mönchengladbach

Gerardo Seoane: “Leipzig haven’t had the results they were hoping for in the last few games, but have nevertheless shown good performances. The team have had plenty of chances to score but, as was the case on Tuesday against Real Madrid, the efficiency just isn’t there. 

“For me, Leipzig are one of the best four teams in the Bundesliga. They have a clear shape, and when they’re on the attack they play with high intensity and a lot of dynamism. They have an enormous amount of individual quality, too. We have a big challenge ahead of us.

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“It’ll definitely be an entirely different task on Saturday to last time out against Darmstadt, more comparable with the previous games in Leverkusen and Munich. We have to do everything we can not to get hemmed in and get a certain level of control over our positional play if we want to cause our opponents problems. 

“We’ve been more solid in defence lately, which has come at the expense of our attack a bit. Against Darmstadt, we weren’t very precise on the counter and in passing play. We have to improve in that area.”


RB Leipzig

13/02/24  Real Madrid (h) 0-1 L  (Champions League)

10/02/24  Augsburg (a) 2-2 D  (Bundesliga)

04/02/24  Union Berlin (h) 2-0 W  (Bundesliga)

27/01/24  VfB Stuttgart (a) 5-2 L  (Bundesliga)

20/01/24  Bayer Leverkusen (h) 2-3 L  (Bundesliga)

Borussia Mönchengladbach

10/02/24  Darmstadt (h) 0-0 D  (Bundesliga)

03/02/24  Bayern Munich (a) 3-1 L  (Bundesliga)

27/01/24  Bayer Leverkusen (a) 0-0 D  (Bundesliga)

21/01/24  Augsburg (h) 1-2 L  (Bundesliga)

14/01/24  VfB Stuttgart (h) 3-1 W  (Bundesliga)

Last time:

The corresponding fixture last season at the Red Bull Arena saw the home side notch up a comfortable 3-0 win on matchday 24. Alassane Plea missed a penalty ten minutes into the second half and that miss became costly as Leipzig responded with three unanswered goals.

Timo Werner scored four minutes after the penalty miss and Emil Forsberg then showed Plea how it is done by converting a spot kick of his own on 71 minutes. Leipzig added a third for good measure with centre back Josko Gvardiol getting on the scoresheet.  

Players to watch:

RB Leipzig

Against Real Madrid in midweek striker Benjamin Sesko had plenty of good attacking moments, but just couldn’t find the finish. He has scored in each of Leipzig’s last three Bundesliga matches, and is forming a good partnership with Lois Openda. 

Borussia Mönchengladbach

All of Alassane Plea’s seven league goals this season came in the first half of the season and if Mönchengladbach are going to claw their way up the table, they are going to need their main man to start hitting the back of the net again. 

About Mathew Burt 1058 Articles
Former writer at Goal.com and JustFootball, I've been doing my thing for Bundesliga Fanatic since 2015. A long-suffering Werder Bremen fan and disciple of the Germanic holy trinity...Bier. Wurst und Fußball

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