Bayern Munich have been their usual selves throughout the Hinrunde. Losing only two games and currently sit nine points clear of second place Borussia Dortmund. However, they go into this affair with a relatively depleted squad. A number of players have tested postive for COVID-19 while others miss out through injury. With so many out the political leader of Bavaria, Markus Söder said that the match should be postponed but as it stands it is going ahead as normal.
This then should give Adi Hutter's Borussia Mönchengladbach side something of a chance. Along with Wolfsburg, The Foals have been one of the more disappointing teams this season. They are nearer the relegation zone than the European places and suffered an embarrassing 6-0 humbling to Freiburg just before Christmas. A much improved 2022 is required at Borussia-Park.
Bayern Munich - The list of players with COVID-19 reads; Manuel Neuer, Kingsley Coman, Corentin Tolisso, Omar Richards, Lucas Hernandez, Tanguy Nianzou, Leroy Sané and Dayot Upamecano. While, Leon Goreztka and Alphonso Davies have separate injury issues. Joshua Kimmich could return after his spite with COVID and its after effects. The only other absentees are Bouna Sarr and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting who are both heading to the Africa Cup of Nations.
Borussia Mönchengladbach - Gladbach's list of COVID absentees is slightly slimmer than Bayern's with Denis Zakaria, Keanan Bennetts, Mamadou Doucouré and Joe Scally all missing out. While, Ramy Bensebaini is with his national team at the AFCON.
Borussia Mönchengladbach - LLLLD - last game - 1-1 vs
Ones to watch
Bayern Munich - Although the league leaders are missing a whole starting eleven, they still have Robert Lewandowski to call upon. In this fixture, last term he bagged a hat-trick in a routine 6-0 triumph. Despite breaking multiple records in 2021, the Pole will be looking for more in 2022. His tally of 19 goals in 17 matches would be seen as ridiculous by most but after 41 last season, the 33-year old is probably disappointed.
Borussia Mönchengladbach - One of the shining lights in the Gladbach team has been young French midfielder, Kouadio Koné. After joining in January, he spent the remainder of the campaign with Toulouse before arriving in Germany last Summer. His performances in the centre of midfield have been one of a few positives. It is quite a statement that he has been keeping Florian Neuhaus out of the starting eleven who previously had been linked with some of Europe's top clubs.
The two sides drew 1-1 at Borussia-Park in August but it was the encounter in the DFB Pokal that caught the eye. A 5-0 victory for Gladbach against a full strength Bayern team sent the football world into frenzy, wondering what on earth was going on !
Where to watch on TV
Friday night's game will be live on Sky Sports Main Event for UK viewers.
What have the managers said ?
On Joshua Kimmich - "Of course Jo is happy. We are all pleased that he's back. He will be playing."
On Mönchengladbach - "They are a team that's capable of fighting their way out of their current situation. We will try to fight back as best we can in order to keep all three points here in Munich."
Borussia Mönchengladbach - Adi Hutter - "Bayern still have a strong team in spite of the players they're missing. There's a lot we can take from our 1-1 draw at the start of the season. You have to be at your best in every department against them."
"Our position in the table right now is an unpleasant surprise. It was a tough first half of the season, where we had a number of injuries too. A positive aspect is that we were able to give a lot of youngsters a chance."