THE TEAM NEWS
- Borussia Monchengladbach earned an eye-catching victory on the road at Eintracht Frankfurt last week and were able to leapfrog RB Leipzig into third spot as they kept their title hopes alive.
- Gladbach wasted no time on their return to action as Alassane Plea opened the scoring within the first minute of the match before Marcus Thuram doubled the lead in the seventh minute with Ramy Bensebaini adding a third from the spot in the second half although they did concede in the final 10 minutes.
- Despite last week’s impressive win, Gladbach will be hoping that they will not be forced into altering their starting XI after goalscorer Thuram was forced to leave the field with a knock last week.
- Bayer Leverkusen carried on where they left off before the Bundesliga was temporarily suspended as they swept Werder Bremen aside to keep the pressure on the top four but this shapes as a crucial contest for them as they travel to one of their rivals.
- Kai Havertz scored either side of a Bremen effort before Mitchell Weiser and Kerem Demirbay wrapped up the win with goals in the second half as Leverkusen scored four goals for the second game in succession.
- They are now unbeaten in their last six Bundesliga matches and will be full of confident ahead of this trip and they could be boosted by the return of Kevin Volland, Lars Bender and Wendell with the trio all in with a shout of proving their fitness.
Borussia Monchengladbach host Bayer Leverkusen in what should be an enthralling contest between two attack-minded teams challenging for the top four. Gladbach have only lost two games on home soil in the Bundesliga so far this season while Leverkusen have been solid on the road with them coming into this in good form. This game could go either way but expect plenty of intent from both teams and with so much attacking talent on show, it is likely that there will be goals at either end.
THE TEAM NEWS
- Hertha claimed an impressive victory on their return to Bundesliga action as they put three past Hoffenheim and having created some further breathing space over the relegation zone, they will be full of confidence as they head into this Berlin derby.
- After a goalless first half, Hertha took the lead thanks to an own goal before their lead was quickly doubled through Vedad Ibisevic and the win was sealed with just under 15 minutes remaining as Matheus Cunha scored a wonderful solo goal.
- Bruno Labbadia’s men will now hope to kick-on from that performance in what was his first game in charge and after such a solid display on the road, it is unlikely that there will be many changes for this clash although Per Ciljan Skjelbred is a doubt.
- Union Berlin were defeated by Bayern Munich in their first game back after the enforced break and although the scoreline did not get out of hand, they will be disappointed by their attacking exploits in that contest.
- Union were doing a solid job of keeping Bayern at bay but their first half efforts were unravelled when they conceded a late penalty which saw them fall behind and that allowed the visitors to dominate from that point on.
- Bayern did not put the game to bed until they scored a second with 10 minutes remaining but Union rarely got out of their own half and must offer more going forward, while they will be boosted by the return of centre-back Marvin Friedrich for this game after he served a one-match ban.
Hertha picked up an important three points in their first game back in action as they secured a 0-3 win on the road against Hoffenheim in Bruno Labbadia’s first game in charge and his second task will be to navigate a Berlin derby. Union Berlin make the short trip here but they were disappointing in their defeat to Bayern last week and they will need to rediscover their attacking flair. Both teams will fancy their chances in this one but Hertha should be able to claim the spoils in what is likely to be a high-scoring game.
THE TEAM NEWS
- Werder Bremen’s nightmare season could yet get worse with relegation a real possibility at this stage and they must find a way to put their dreadful form behind them when they resume playing with a home game against Bayer Leverkusen first up.
- Bremen find themselves just one place above bottom side Paderborn having managed just four wins from their 24 Bundesliga matches so far this season and they head into this round of matches eight points from safety.
- Bremen have picked up just five points on home soil so far this season which is the worst record in the Bundesliga and they will be under pressure to improve that form here but they will be without the suspended Davy Klaassen.
- Bayer Leverkusen have Champions League football firmly in their sights and will believe that they can overhaul Borussia Monchengladbach into fourth place at the very least by the end of the campaign.
- Leverkusen have lost just one of their last nine matches in the Bundesliga and have picked up some impressive results during that run, including a thrilling 4-3 success against top four rivals Borussia Dortmund.
- The enforced break may have served Leverkusen well as their injury list appears to have significantly decreased and they should be able to call upon the services of top-scorer Kevin Volland in what will be a huge boost.
Werder Bremen cannot afford many more losses in their quest to retain their place in the Bundesliga but they face a difficult task on the league’s restart as they host Bayer Leverkusen. The visitors are right in the mix for a top four finish and will be hoping to continue the good form they were showing before proceedings were brought to a temporary halt. Bremen’s defence is desperately poor and they come into this round of fixtures with more goals conceded than any other side in the division which highlights their issues. They will need to show huge improvements if they are to keep Leverkusen at bay but the hosts are likely to prove too good here.