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Borussia Monchengladbach: A profile

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Now eight games unbeaten and scoring over two goals a game on average in the Bundesliga this season, Borussia Monchengladbach (Mownch-en-glad-bach), or Gladbach for short, have grown from mid-table mediocrity last campaign to a serious force in this year's Bundesliga. This article provides a brief overview of the club that you should be keeping a close eye on. 

Finishing eighth last season and having not won Germany's highest division since 1977, few would have predicted that Gladbach would be rubbing shoulders with the Bundesliga's big sides at the top of the table this season.

While they sit third, 11 points behind current champions Bayern Munich, they are above neighbours Dortmund by a point and just four behind Sami Hyypia's Leverkusen - and they don't half look good for it. 

Managed by Swiss-born Lucien Favre, Gladbach's style and attacking flair has been every bit as good as rivals Dortmund this season - the other Bundesliga side typically accredited with playing the best football alongside Bayern - quickly mixing short passes with accurate aerial balls, criss-crossing about the pitch.

Their star man is forward Max Kruse, who features in a three-pronged Gladbach attack along with Brazillian striker Raffael and creative midfielder Patrick Herrmann which has proved devastating this season. The 25-year-old German has eight Bundesliga goals this season and has created an incredible 50 goalscoring chances for his team with a passing accuracy of 83%. 

Winger Harrmann, 22, has been at the club since he made his professional début with them in 2009 and has hit fine form after rarely getting going last season. The winger has three goals and four assists and has been successful with 60% of his dribbling attempts in the league. He is never afraid to take on his man, and, as that statistic shows, he often succeeds.

Raffael has nine league goals in 17 league appearances and operates as the focal point of the Gladbach attack. A real Brazilian-style poacher, he thrives on the quick and accurate service provided to him by Kruse and Herrmann and applies accurate finishes with aplomb. 

From the backline, Gladbach's wing-backs are essential to their attacking play. In Tony Jantchke and Oscar Wendt, they have two players who are equally adept going forward and contributing to attacking moves as they are defending with tough tackling and excellent positioning. Wendt in particular has three goals already this season from his left-back position. 

Monchengladbach have an unbelievably talented goalkeeper in Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who has time and time again pulled out wonder saves for Gladbach right when they need him to - no less so than during their 2-0 home win over Dortmund last year. With six league clean sheets and conceding only an average of just over one goal per game, it is no wonder the 21-year-old wonder-kid German has been linked with Barcelona.

There's plenty more yet to come from this Borussia Monchengladbach side, who are young, ambitious and adventurous in their play. As a club, they are expertly blending transferred-in talent, such as Wendt and Kruse, with home grown excellence, Herrmann and Ter Stegen to name but two.

Their fans are used to them being a selling club - having sold both Marco Reus and Dante to Dortmund and Bayern in recent years - but there is a sense that things might be changing.

Nonetheless one of their key challenges, like so many up and coming European clubs, will be to hold on to their best players from the swooping eagles of the established big sides. For now, however, they are on track to qualify for Champions League football next season and any team they land themselves in a group with ought to be wary of them. 

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Topics:
Bundesliga
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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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