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Former Germany midfielder Steffan Effenberg has hailed the impact head coach Lucien Favre has had at Borussia Mönchengladbach ahead of tonight’s clash at unbeaten leaders Bayern Munich.
Mönchengladbach are unbeaten in their last five games and have risen to third place in the Bundesliga – their highest position of the season.
Effenberg, who enjoyed distinguished spells at both clubs, said: “I’ve said it many times: Gladbach’s most important signing over the last few years was Lucien Favre. He’s really put his stamp on the team. Thanks to Favre, Gladbach are really disciplined. That’s important if you want to be successful.
“Borussia’s success doesn’t surprise me. They’ve strengthened, found themselves and play as a team.
“Gladbach won’t sit back. They know what a good side they’ve become and have gained the respect of the other sides. Bayern are still favourites and will definitely have more of the ball.
“It’ll be difficult to stop them if they find their feet first, but Gladbach are capable of scoring anytime. I can quite easily see it ending in a draw – maybe 1-1 (the draw is available at 4.45).
Bayern boss Pep Guardiola is mindful of the threat Borussia pose, having seen his side battle for the points in the last meeting.
“We saw the first time we played them that Borussia are a tough team,” said the Spanish tactician in his pre-match press conference, reflecting on his very first Bundesliga match in charge of the Reds, a 3-1 victory over the Foals back in August.
“It was quite an awakening in the Bundesliga for me. I’m certain we’ll lose a game sooner or later; it could even be this one.”
Unbeaten in a record 41 league games since October 2012, the Reds have a seven-point lead at the top of the table and could stretch that to 10 with victory in their rearranged game with VfB Stuttgart next week.