Bayern Munich may have dominated the Bundesliga for a decade but on Saturday they face bogey team Borussia Moenchengladbach who have defeated the Bavarian giants nine times in the league since the 2011-12 season.
Regardless of the two teams’ positions in recent years — Bayern have won 10 from 10 league titles while Gladbach have finished in the top four just three times — the clashes have been unusually competitive.
Since 2012, the last year Bayern failed to win the title, no club apart from Gladbach has managed more than five wins against them.
The cherry on Gladbach’s cake came in 2021-22, when they thrashed Bayern 5-0 in the German Cup, the Bavarians’ biggest loss against any opponent since the 1970s.
But while Gladbach are currently entrenched in mid-table, they did hold Bayern to a 1-1 draw in Munich earlier in the season.
A major change for Gladbach since that game however has been the loss of star goalkeeper Yann Sommer, who has made the move south to Munich and will face his former teammates at Borussia Park for the first time on Saturday.
“Our record against them shows that we can be counted on to take points off Bayern,” Gladbach coach Daniel Farke told reporters.
“For me, this is just another opportunity for us to add to our points tally.”
Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn knows the danger posed by Saturday’s opponents, particularly with Union Berlin and Borussia Dortmund hot on their heels in the league.
“It’s looking tight at the moment,” Kahn said after Tuesday’s 1-0 Champions League win at Paris Saint-Germain.
“Now it’s off to Gladbach and we know they’re waiting for us to stumble. We don’t want to do anyone a favour.”
Player to watch: Yann Sommer
Swiss shot-stopper Yann Sommer was a one-man wall against Bayern in August, making an all-time Bundesliga record 19 saves as he earned Gladbach a 1-1 away draw.
Six months later and Sommer has moved to Bayern, replacing injured captain Manuel Neuer in January.
Sommer was a frequent irritant for Bayern during his eight-and-a-half years at Gladbach and had an impressive record against the German champions in that time, with seven wins, four draws and six defeats.
Despite the sting of losing their best player to Bayern, Gladbach sporting director Roland Virkus has promised to give Sommer “an official send-off” before Saturday’s match.
“Yann is looking forward to it and I’m certain our fans are as well,” Virkus said.
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