17:00 (BST); Sunday 15th October; Weser-Stadion (Bremen, Germany) BT Sport 1
Werder Bremen enter Week 8 winless and desperately need a win as they welcome Borussia Mönchengladbach to the Weser-Stadion. Gladbach sit in seventh in the standings and are coming off a pivotal win against Hannover whilst Bremen secured their fourth draw of the season away at Hamburg. A Bremen win could see them move to the relegation play-off spot whilst Gladbach can move into the top four if results are favorable and they take care of business.
Last time out
Werder Bremen 0-0 Hamburg
Werder Bremen made the journey to Hamburg for the 107th rendition of the Nordderby in week seven’s top match. It was Bremen who came out swinging in the early going when Florian Kainz’s free-kick was headed on by Thomas Delaney, but Christian Mathenia was there to make the save.
Werder keeper Jiri Pavlenka was pivotal for Bremen in this clash five saves. His best came in the second half when André Hahn tried to chip the Czech international from outside the area, but Pavlenka’s excellent footwork helped him make an excellent save. A draw see’s Bremen remain 17th and in the drop zone.
Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-1 Hannover
Dieter Hecking welcomed one of his old sides to the Borussia-Park as Hannover came to Gladbach unbeaten. The first half welded no goals in what was an entertaining affair but Matthias Ginter would break the trend on 67 minutes when he scored his first goal for Gladbach since joining from Dortmund in the summer. But the lead lasted all but four minutes when Martin Harnik continued his scoring form to draw Hannover level.
There would be drama late on when Salif Sané fouled Vincenzo Grifo in the area and a penalty was given. Even with the referral to the Video Assistant Referee, Christian Dingert kept his original decision. Thorgan Hazard scored from the spot for his second of the season to give Gladbach all three points.
Werder Bremen lineup
Alexander Nouri is on the bubble of his coach career with Bremen and another defeat will probably see the manager on the outer. Lamine Sane comes back into the starting lineup after missing the last three games with a knee injury, he will replace the injured Robert Bauer. Zlatko Junuzović made his return from injury in the Nordderby, he will start in place of Florian Kainz.
Borussia Mönchengladbach lineup
Gladbach will look to make it two straight victories when they make the journey to Bremen. Vincenzo Grifo made his debut for Gladbach last time out as a substitute but he will come into the starting XI for Fabian Johnson. French talent Mickael Cuisance made his first start since joining from Nancy but he will drop to the bench with Denis Zakaria returning.
Key Battle: Thomas Delaney vs Christoph Kramer
The two #6’s will battle at the Weser-Stadion as Danish international Thomas Delaney goes head-to-head against Christoph Kramer. Delaney has carried the load for Bremen completing 176 passes at 72% completion whilst winning 47 duels, that’s the most from any Bremen player. For Bremen to secure a win against Gladbach, they will need Delaney to pull the strings on Sunday.
Christoph Kramer has had a positive season so far Gladbach and despite the knocks he has copped, the former Germany international has done an excellent job controlling the tempo in midfield. The 26-year-old has completed 355 passes which is the most from a Gladbach player at 87%. Kramer isn’t afraid to get in and dirty making 21 tackles winning 42% of attempts. This will be an intriguing midfield battle in Bremen.
Time is ticking
Similar to Köln coach Peter Stöger, Bremen manager Alexander Nouri is feeling the pinch and a defeat at the hands of Borussia Mönchengladbach could force a change at manager for Werder. Their form at home has been deplorable where they have only a draw to their name which came against Freiburg on matchday six. Bremen have been unlucky but in a sport where you need to create your own luck, Werder need to force the issue for the desirable result to be forthcoming.
Borussia Mönchengladbach are one of six teams that have failed to secure a victory on their travels this season and they’ll look to buck that trend on Sunday. Dieter Hecking’s side have the leakiest defense in the Bundesliga on the road with ten goals from their opening three away fixtures. Granted, they were hit for six by Dortmund, but they also shipped two at the hands of Augsburg and Leipzig. Gladbach need to tighten on defense to keep out a desperate Bremen side.
Prediction: Werder Bremen 2-2 Borussia Mönchengladbach
I expect a high-scoring football match in Bremen as Gladbach have the worst away game defense and Werder can take advantage of that. Gladbach will look to punish a Bremen side which is lacking in confidence. It will be an end to end encounter, but I can’t see either time being able to secure a victory with Bremen succumbing to a 5th draw of the season whilst Gladbach sit inside the top half of the standings.
Can Werder Bremen break their duck in week 8 or will Borussia Mönchengladbach continue their surge up the table? Let us know in the comments section below
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