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Leaders Gladbach hope momentum intact against Union

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By Reuters
Leaders Gladbach hope momentum intact against Union

BERLIN (Reuters) – Borussia Moenchengladbach hope the international break has not slowed their momentum as they prepare to face Union Berlin on Saturday after their surprise run to the top of the Bundesliga.

Gladbach are enjoying their best season since they last won the Bundesliga title in 1977 and have won eight of their 11 games so far, two more than any other team.

They are top on 25 points, four ahead of RB Leipzig and champions Bayern Munich, and travel to Berlin on Saturday as the league resumes.

Key to the Foals’ success so far has been their extremely solid and disciplined backline that has let in just 11 goals, fewer than any other title rival, and a prolific frontline that includes revelation Marcus Thuram.

The 22-year-old son of French World Cup winner Lilian Thuram has so far netted five times and set up another five goals in his first Bundesliga season, with Gladbach boasting the second best goal tally having netted more than two goals per game.

Added to the recipe is new coach Marco Rose’s tactical nous that has given Gladbach a winning edge and growing confidence.

“I don’t think the international break will slow us down,” said Gladbach defender Oscar Wendt. “But it is correct to say that before it we were in fine form and no one would have minded playing on.

“But the break was good for us. Those without a break come back with a lot of confidence from the Euro qualifiers. So I am convinced that we will pick up in Berlin where we left off against Werder Bremen two weeks ago.”

Yet promoted Union are also in good form, having won three of their last four games to climb out of the bottom spots and into 11th place.

“We have a lot of points already and the team is playing good football,” Wendt added. “The season is still young and a lot can happen. But the team is far from finished with its development and we can improve. The team has massive potential.”

Second-placed Leipzig, on 21, entertain strugglers Cologne while Bayern, also on 21, travel to Fortuna Duesseldorf.

Dortmund, on 19 and looking to bounce back from their 4-0 demolition by Bayern two weeks ago, host Paderborn on Friday.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Toby Davis)