Bundesliga action on Saturday

Leverkusen, Leipzig drew both of their league meetings last season. (Photo/Courtesy)

Borussia Monchengladbach vs Union Berlin
Borussia Park, Monchengladbach
Saturday, 26-09-2020 @4:30pm

Marcus Thuram is expected to return to the Borussia Mönchengladbach starting line-up for the visit of Union Berlin to the Borussia-Park on Saturday.

Thuram was Gladbach’s 10-goal joint-leading scorer in the Bundesliga last season, despite missing the final three games of 2019/20 with an ankle problem.

He was forced him to sit out the recent DFB Cup drubbing of minnows FC Oberneuland, but returned to action as a second-half substitute in last weekend’s 3-0 loss to Dortmund, and should start on Matchday 2. Alassane Plea – Gladbach’s other double-digit forward last term – entered the fray at the same juncture, and could come into the side, but the contest is likely to come too soon for fellow forward Breel Embolo despite his return to training in midweek.

Head coach Marco Rose is also without influential holding player Denis Zakaria so Remy Bensebaini or Florian Neuhaus could drop in alongside Christoph Kramer to fill the void.

Union have personnel concerns of their own after losing Christian Gentner to a calf injury in the first half of their 3-1 home loss to Augsburg. Sebastian Griesbeck was the veteran midfielder’s replacement in front of 4,300 fans at the Stadion an der Alten Försterei, and is the primary candidate to fill the void in Gladbach.

Striker Anthony Ujah is still a long-term absentee, but summer loan signing Keito Endo could make the travelling squad following injury. Awonyi Taiwo is also in contention, after joining Union on a season-long loan from English Premier League champions Liverpool, while former Gladbach forward Max Kruse is pushing to make his full Union debut. The former Germany international featured in the latter stages of the defeat to Augsburg.

Gladbach beat Union 4-1 in last season’s corresponding fixture. It was their second highest win of 2019/20. The Foals lost only three times on home soil last term. Only Bayern Munich fared better on their own patch. Borussia No.1 Yann Sommer is set to make his 200th Bundesliga appearance. Only five other non-German goalkeepers have reached the milestone. Union have lost four of their last five away games, while only relegated duo Paderborn and Fortuna Düsseldorf picked up fewer points on their travels last season. Kruse scored 23 goals in 66 Bundesliga appearances for Gladbach across the 2013/14 and 2014/15 campaigns. Gentner has made more Bundesliga appearances (409) than any active player (409).

Bayer Leverkusen vs RB Leipzig
BayArena, Leverkusen
Saturday, 26-09-2020 @4:30pm

Leverkusen drew six league games last season, four of which ended 1-1 including both Bundesliga meetings with Leipzig. Leipzig drew 12 of their 34 league games last term – no side shared the spoils on more occasions. Leipzig have lost only one of their last 12 Bundesliga away games.

Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig shared the spoils in both league meetings last season – each Bundesliga fixture ended 1-1 – and another draw could be on the cards when they renew their rivalry at the BayArena.

Both have seen their star players snapped up by Chelsea – Leverkusen have lost talisman Kai Havertz while Lepzig have had to replace their leading scorer Timo Werner.

However, both have replaced their influential men amicably and given only three points separated these two after 34 league games last season, expect this to be another closely-fought encounter.

Leverkusen were held to a point at Wolfsburg in their curtain-raiser but there was enough in that performance against a well-organised outfit to suggest they can again compete for a top-four finish despite the absence of Havertz.

Leipzig, on the other hand, were dominant 3-1 winners at home to Mainz but the visitors scored with their only shot on target, offering plenty of optimism to a classy Leverkusen frontline.

However, Leipzig drew 12 of their 34 league games last term – no side shared the spoils on more occasions – and they have lost only one of their last 12 Bundesliga road trips.

Mainz vs Stuttgart
OPEL Arena, Mainz
Saturday, 26-09-2020 @4:30pm

Details to follow

Arminia Bielefeld vs Koln
Schuco Arena, Bielefeld
Saturday, 26-09-2020 @4:30pm

Details to follow

Augsburg vs Borussia Dortmund
WWK Arena, Augsburg
Saturday, 26-09-2020 @4:30pm

Borussia Dortmund netted five in each of their two league wins over Augsburg last season and Lucien Favre’s men look ready to put on another attacking masterclass at WWK Arena.

Dortmund kicked off the new Bundesliga season with a 3-0 win at home to Borussia Monchengladbach, who finished fourth last season, and last season 20 of their 34 league matches featured four or more goals.

There’s rarely a lack of excitement when Dortmund take to the field and an attack spearheaded by Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland should get plenty of joy from an Augsburg defence which conceded 63 times in 34 league games last season.

Augsburg won their first game of the new season at Union Berlin (3-1) but they collected only one point from ten meetings with top-five teams last season, shipping 32 goals along the way (3.2 goals per game).

And that may spell disaster for the defensively-fragile hosts against a rampant Dortmund outfit who netted ten times in accounting for them twice last season.

Schalke 04 vs Werder Bremen
VLETINS Arena, Gelsenkirchen
Saturday, 26-09-2020 @7:30pm

Schalke have lost five of their last six meetings with Werder Bremen. The hosts are winless in 17 league games. Schalke have won their opening home game of the season once in seven years. The hosts lost this fixture 1-0 back in May.

After a humiliating 8-0 loss to Bayern Munich last weekend, Schalke boss David Wagner has one game to save his job. The bad news for him is that statistically this the worst fixture for his side to face after Bayern.

Schalke have lost five of their last six and seven of their last 10 competitive meetings against Werder Bremen. Since 2016, only Bayern have beaten Schalke on more occasions than Werder Bremen have.That’s unlikely to improve, as the hosts have only won one of their last seven opening home matches of a new season (D3 L3).

Schalke have not won a Bundesliga game since January (2-0 vs. Gladbach), meaning they are now winless in their last 17 top-flight matches – their longest ever winless run (D6 L11). That’s put Wagner in danger, which makes an away win the best option on this game in our eyes.

While Schalke lost heavily last weekend, this one is set to be tighter. Wagner’s men conceded more goals on the opening day at Bayern (8) than they have scored across their last 17 Bundesliga games (7).

Sunday, 27-09-2020 Fixtures

-Hoffenheim vs Bayern Munich @4:30pm
-Freigburg vs Wolfsburg @7pm

Friday, 25-09-2020 Result

-Hertha Berlin 1-3 Eintracht Frankfurt

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