Real Madrid will lock horns with Borussia Monchengladbach for the first time in 35 years when the two teams meet in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The last time they played each other was during the third round of the 1984/85 European Cup, with Los Blancos running out 9-1 winners on aggregate.

This year, they take each other on in the group stages of the European Cup’s successor. After losing their first fixture against Shakhtar Donetsk, Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid desperately need a positive result in Germany.

How likely are they to topple Marco Rose’s Gladbach, though? We’ve analysed the Bundesliga outfit.

Introduction

In order to give you a sense of how Gladbach play, we’ve looked at over 50 different metrics to determine how they play with and without the ball, as well as how they fare in front of goal.

From the graphic, we can see that their playing style is fairly similar to that of Real Madrid, but the closest Spanish side we can compare them with is Villarreal.

Without the ball

Gladbach are not a hugely intense team when it comes to pressing from the front, but that concept is at the forefront of their game. They like to cut off passing lanes high up the pitch and put pressure on their opponents in their own third. Their intensity drops off big time when the ball moves out of their attacking third, though.

This is where Rose’s side are more dangerous. Only 12 teams in Europe’s top five leagues have more possession than Gladbach, on average.

They like to have possession in more attacking areas and, when they approach the final third, they adopt a more direct approach.

In possession, Gladbach make 70 percent of their passes at a medium distance, 25 percent at a long distance and under five percent at a short distance.

Finishing

Gladbach haven’t enjoyed much efficiency in front of goal in the Bundesliga this season, scoring eight goals in their five fixtures. Their expected goals figure for the season sits at 8.6, which means they’re scoring less than their play deserves.

Per 90 minutes, Rose’s men attempt an average of 13.6 shots, with 5.2 of them being on target, giving them a 38.2 percent success rate.

Gladbach are one of the least clinical teams in Europe’s top five leagues this campaign, scoring 0.19 goals per shot on target.

Standout players

Monchengladbach don’t have stellar names in their squad, but their talisman is Alassane Plea. The 27-year-old forward is into his third season at the club.

In the Bundesliga last season, the Frenchman was amongst the best players in Europe in terms of assists and expected assists, while he also stood out for his shots, expected goals and goals.

Another interesting player – another Frenchman, in fact – is Marcus Thuram, the son of Lilian Thuram. The 23-year-old is a similar player to Plea but excels more in dribbling than shooting.

His statistics in the Bundesliga last season show that he’s less efficient in front of goal than Plea but that he contributes more in assists and dribbling.

 

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