Celtic vs Gladbach by Gustav
Celtic continued their domination in the domestic league last weekend, as the team comes from a professionally taken 2:0 victory at home against Motherwell 2:0. The game itself was quite an open one and the visitors had their chances as well, but the home team stood way more mature and moved the ball better.
They took the lead in 18th minute via Sinclair, sealing the victory in 87th from a penalty kick taken by Dembele. It was their seventh victory out of eight matches (one draw as well), as the team leads the table with four points more than second placed Aberdeen. Celtic has one point in first two rounds of Champions League and now needs to obtain a positive result, a victory in case they want to continue race for the first two positions in the group, or at least a draw in order to boost their chances of ending up third overall and exit to Europa League knockout stage.
Scottish side should be lined up in 4-2-3-1 formation with Dembele as central striker. Offensive midfielders should be Sinclair, Forrest and Rogic this time out. Right defender Mikael Lustig (6/0) is doubtful and could be ready for the match, as well as defensive midfielder Nir Bitton (5/0). Goalkeeper Logan Bailly remains sidelined with injury.
Gladbach, on the other side, has entered obviously poor period, since the team has no victory in last three matches in all competitions. Maybe even more worrying is that they didn't score in previous two, coming from a goalless draw at home against Hamburger SV last weekend.
They had all the chances to walk away with something, as the team was favorite on the paper playing in front of own fans, but also had a numerical advantage from 25th minute when visiting player Cleber left the field due to red card received. Gladbch completely controled the ball during the match and missed good chances, including even two penalty kicks and despite having not enough luck overall, they are also to blame for not getting the victory since the team wasn't concrete enough. They are now only at seventh position with eleven points, but with plenty of time to improve, since they have only four points less than Champions League placed Koln and Leipzig. As for this competition, the team lost to Barcelona and Mancehster City so far and another defeat would probably mean ending up at the rock bottom position.
Visitors from Gladbach should be playing in 3-4-1-2 formation with Hazard and Hahn as strikers, plus Stindl as offensive central midfielder. Central defender Andreas Christensen (7/0) is their fresh injury worry, while they also continue to miss other two defenders, Mamadou Doucoure and Alvaro Dominguez from the start of the season. Forward Raffael (3/2) is also injured, while striker Josip Drmic returned to training sessions, but the game might come too soon for him. Offensive Thirgan Hazard (6/3) is doubtful but should be ready on time.
- There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Borussia M.Gladbach's last 6 games (UEFA Champions League).
Celtic improved a lot in the second round game when they took a draw in comparison to the demolished side they were in the first round away to Barcelona. Having improved their morale with that outcome, I expect the team to be very serious and dangerous in this match as well. Gladbach are stronger team on the paper, but the team isn't showing their best away from home. I wouldn't exclude home victory here at all, since the players of Gladbach are really terrible on the road and might not be able to respond here, having won only two out of last fifteen matches away from home.