Both RB Leipzig and Borussia Mönchengladbach have suffered setbacks in the Champions League against Liverpool and Manchester City in the last two weeks.
Both teams may have suffered the same fate in the CL, two goals behind and are up the way, but their league form couldn’t be more different.
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The shaky league form of FC Bayern Munich has opened the door for RB Leipzig to push their way back into the Bundesliga title race. Leipzig have won four times in a row while Bayern took one point from the last six points.
The gap is now two points and the underlying numbers suggest that Leipzig is actually better than Bayern.
The main difference is the defense: Leipzig, led by Dayot Upamecano, allowed 19.3 xGA and 18 goals in 22 league games. The underlying numbers from last season suggested that Julian Nagelsmann’s team had many unlucky draws and that it could be closer to Bayern for the league title if there was better variance with finishing and converting draws into wins could give.
The Leipzig numbers are no coincidence either. It is the second best opposing game in the penalty area, allows almost two full shots per 90 fewer than anyone in the league and only hits 2.55 shots per 90. In attack, Nagelsmann goes by committee approach with the striker and has fought against some of the better defenses Leipzig faced.
It struggled to generate great chances against Liverpool’s backup center-backs and in the return leg against Gladbach it had many poor quality chances. Without a really recognized striker, it could be difficult for Leipzig to break an underrated Gladbach defense.
Since it became known that Marco Rose will be leaving Gladbach in the summer to go to Dortmund, his league form has wavered. Losses against Mainz and Cologne as well as a goalless draw against Wolfsburg put Gladbach in eighth place in the table.
Simply put, his defense had the bad luck of conceding as many goals as possible and his attack was just bad. Gladbach has an average of 1.56 xG per 90 this year after sitting at 1.95 in the Bundesliga last season. It went from third best attack to seventh best.
Part of their struggles could be the form of their two best strikers, Alassane Plea and Marcus Thuram. They were in and out of the line-up and Rose turned his team around more than most to avoid injuries.
Gladbach’s defense enabled more goals than expected as the teams shoot at them really well. It allows the lowest xG per shot in the league and ranks sixth in the per 90 allowed shots on goal, but has allowed 33 goals out of 26.4 xGA this season.
Similar to the second leg, it is unlikely to be There are many great chances to score in this game.
Leipzig struggled to generate them and Gladbach allowed the lowest xG per shot in the league.
At the other end, Leipzig’s defense was very difficult to break , and Gladbach’s attack has stuttered for weeks. It’s unlikely there will be many goals in this case, and under 2.5 for plus money or under 2.75 when you have it on hand are both good options.
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