Soccer Germany Bundesliga 18 March 2023
B. Monchengladbach vs Werder Bremen - Match Preview
Amid their second-worst points haul (30) at this stage since 2010/11, it’s turning out to be a decidedly average season for Borussia Mönchengladbach who are now winless in three Bundesliga matches (D1, L2) after a 3-0 defeat at Leipzig, a loss which saw them record a third straight scoring blank in the league for the first time since February 2018. Coach Daniel Farke called that Leipzig loss ‘hard to accept’ as he now looks to avoid his longest-ever winless run in the Bundesliga as Gladbach boss.
Farke will hope that a return to Borussia Park will help avoid such a fate, and a three-game unbeaten streak here - including a victory over Bayern Munich - proves they have it in them to turn on the style at home. Indeed, with 23 of their 30 points, this season won at home and a ten-game unbeaten run in Bundesliga H2Hs here against Werder Bremen, many will fancy them to do just that.
A 3-2 defeat at home to Leverkusen despite scoring first ensured Bremen fell to a fourth defeat from their last five games (W1). Coach Ole Werner criticised his side’s ‘wastefulness’ in front of goal, and that perhaps goes some way to explaining why they find themselves heading for mid-table mediocrity, locked on the same points as Gladbach in the bottom half of the table.
No defeat in their first five away league games (W3, D2) this term hinted that Bremen would be happy travellers this season, but considering they have since lost five of their last six league trips, returning to the road seems far from ideal. Such poor form is largely due to the fact that Bremen have conceded first in eight away league games, only collecting points in three of those (W1, D2, L5) which undoubtedly places added emphasis on a solid start.
📋 Players to watch: Gladbach's only goal in the 5-1 defeat in the reverse fixture was scored by Marcus Thuram, who has the most shots on goal in the Bundesliga with 71 this season. Involved in three Bremen goals in that reverse H2H (G2, A1), Niclas Füllkrug has the second most shots with 69.
⚡ Hot streak: Bremen haven’t drawn in 17 successive Bundesliga games which is the joint-second longest such streak in Europe’s top-five leagues, only Napoli has recorded more (22).
Stuttgart vs Wolfsburg - Match Preview
Despite taking up residence in the relegation zone thanks in part to a three-game winless run (D1, L2), Stuttgart’s 1-1 comeback draw against top-six chasing Eintracht Frankfurt last time out showed they aren’t going down without a fight. Stuttgart must swiftly get back to winning ways if they are to avoid a nail-biting bid for survival come to the end of the season though, something easier said than done considering they’ve accumulated a joint-league low four wins this entire campaign!
If VfB’s last ten games of this Bundesliga season mirror the results of re-appointed manager Bruno Labbadia’s first ten matches at the helm (W2, D3, L5), then their top-flight status could be at serious risk. Labbadia will therefore look to capitalize on Stuttgart’s record against one of his former employers Wolfsburg here then, as since Wolfsburg’s promotion in 1997/98, Stuttgart has claimed 13 home Bundesliga wins against them in that time which is the most they’ve accumulated against any side.
Wolfsburg can fire back with more recent successes, having beaten their hosts more often than any other top-flight team since the start of the 2009/10 season with their 14 wins, including a 3-2 victory in the reverse fixture back in October. They could seriously do with an extension of that record here, as since the halfway point of the season Wolfsburg have won only one of their seven league encounters (D3, L3).
That run has seen the Wolves lose ground in the hunt for the European spots and they now find themselves five points adrift of sixth place. Encouragingly though, their recent lone victory did come in their last away venture, a 2-0 win over Cologne which preserved their status as the league’s best away defensive side with only 12 goals conceded on the road all season.
📋 Players to watch: Home has been where Stuttgart’s Silas’ heart has been, scoring five of his last seven goals at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. The opposite rings true for Wolfsburg captain Maximilian Arnold, who’s scored his last four goals on the road after opening his account for the season in the reverse fixture.
⚡ Hot stat: Both teams have scored in 17 of Stuttgart’s Bundesliga matches this season, a league-high.
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