German contingent Borussia Monchengladbach will host high-flying Barcelona at the Borussia Park tonight in their second game of the Champions League group stage. Barcelona started their Champions League campaign in some style thrashing Scottish champions Celtic 7-0, whereas the German side were beaten 4-0 by mighty Manchester City.
The Catalan giants will be high on confidence after their emphatic 5-0 La Liga win against Sporting Gijon in the weekend. Gladbach are in a decent form of their own having won two of their last three games and will be looking to come up with a big upset. Barcelona have made a habit humiliating teams with massive scorelines this season and even without Lionel Messi, they are well capable of dismantling André Schubert’s side.
Andre Schubert enters the match with one major injury concern; their star striker and top-scorer Rafael is sidelined with a muscle injury and it’s unlikely that he will be back in time to face Barcelona. Fellow striker Josip Drmic is also out injured. The German side are also missing their best defender Alvaro Dominguez. Joel Mero, Mamadou Doucare, Marvin Schulz and Tobias Strobl are all missing through injuries.
Barcelona will be without their fans’ heartthrob Lionel Messi on their trip to Germany. Samuel Umtiti is also doubtful for the game.
Predicted line-ups and tactical setups
Andre Schubert is likely to field his side in a 3-4-1-2 formation. Sommer will start between the sticks behind the back three of Christensen, Elvedi and Jantschke. Kramer and Dahoud are likely to be the midfield pair with Traore and Wendt operating as the two wing-backs. Thorgan Hazard will start as the number ten with Lars Stindl and Andre Hahn playing up front as the two strikers.
Starting XI: Sommer; Christensen, Elvedi, Jantschke; Traore, Kramer, Dahoud, Wendt; Hazard; Hahn, Stindl
Luis Enrique will field his side in Barcelona’s usual 4-3-3 formation. Ter Stegen will start under the bar behind the back four of Roberto, Piqué, Mascherano and Alba. Busquets, Rakitic and Iniesta will, as usual, line up in the midfield trio. Rafinha is expected to fill in Messi’s void on the right flank while Suarez and Neymar will keep their places.
Starting XI: ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Mascherano, Alba; Busquets, Rakitić, Iniesta; Rafinha, Suarez, Neymar
Borussia Monchengladbach- Lars Stindl
The 28-year-old Gladbach skipper, Lars Stindl, is likely to fill in as the most advanced midfielder with Dahoud and Kramer behind him. The German offers a great deal of creativity and will be a big threat to the Catalans.
Barcelona- Luis Suarez
With Leo Messi injured, Suarez will be expected to step up, not that he hasn’t so far. The best striker in the world will be keen to tear apart Gladbach defence and we have to wait and see if he can do that successfully or not.
Borussia Monchengladbach win @11/2
Barcelona win @ 8/15