Borussia Monchengladbach vs Barcelona preview: Messi less Blaugranas European test
Messi less Barcelona is set to make a trip to Germany’s Borussia Park, to face Borussia Monchengladbach in their second match of Champions League group stage. Blaugranas enjoyed an enormous success against Celtic at home, beating them 7-0 in their redemption of Alaves defeat at Camp Nou. It was a disastrous night for Celtic coach Brendon Rodgers who will like to settle things at Celtic Park when Blaugranas will visit them, but before that they have to go through another stern test against Manchester City at Celtic Park as well.
Monchengladbach, on the other hand had already suffered a humiliating night at Manchester Stadium in a rain delayed rescheduled match. City beaten them 4-0 on matchday 1, and Gladbach are most likely to redeem their loss with a win against Barcelona at home. Borussia-Park presents an atmosphere which makes it difficult for the visiting team to register a win there, and they are in good form as well. Since, their defeat against City, they are unbeaten in Bundesliga; with a 4-1 win against Bremen, 1-1 draw against Leipzig, and latest 2-0 win over Inglostadt.
It’s difficult to rate Barcelona any lesser, even though they will be without their superstar Lionel Messi. On Saturday they rout Sporting Gijon 5-0, playing without Messi, giving a clear statement that Blaugranas may be playing without La Pulga, but they have others in their armour to do the damage as well. But, it’s away game, in a different country on a difficult ground. It’s gonna be ultimate test for Messi less Blaugranas.
Gladbach coach Andre Schubert has done a brilliant job since his helm at Borussia Park, and considered to be the another tactical genius in Bundesliga alongside Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel. He has a young bright squad, which generate lot of pace, energy and enthusiasm on the football ground, and with home crowd they can do magic. Andre Hahn, Ibrahima Traore, Thorgan hazard, Lars Stindl and Raffael has been prolific and it looks like a Gladbach revolutionary squad.
Barcelona injury worries is not limited to Messi, their centre-back Samuel Umtiti is also ruled out till international breaks. Umtiti absence left Barcelona to play Javier Mascherano at back, alongside Gerard Pique, and both of them lack pace to compete against a younger generation of footballers. It may cost Barcelona conceding goals, and it will left Barcelona’s forward line (Suarez and Messi) to push harder for extra goals their team need in order to win the match.
Predicted line-ups :
Borussia Monchengladbach : Sommer, Christensen, Elvedi, Vestegaard, Traore, Krammer, Dahoud, Johnson, Stindl, Hazard, Raffael
Barcelona : Ter-Stegen, Pique, Mascherano, Alba, Roberto, Busquets, Iniesta, Turan, Rakitic, Neymar, Suarez
Result Prediction : Barcelona to play 2-2 draw
I can’t go for Barcelona win considering the fact of their dull display against sporting Gijon in first half-hour, and Borussia Monchengladbach would have noticed that, and their Borussia Park atmosphere will make things difficult for Blaugranas.