Despite a month on top, 'Gladbach boss Rose wary of title talk

Borussia Moenchengladbach fans have already been singing about winning the Bundesliga this season, but head coach Marco Rose is refusing to sing along, despite being four points clear.

Gladbach go to mid-table FC Union Berlin on Saturday and after a month at the top of the table, their fans are dreaming about a first Bundesliga title since the 1976-77 season.

"Que sera, sera - German champions next year!" sang home fans at Borussia Park after Gladbach beat Werder Bremen 3-1 last time out in the league when winger Patrick Herrmann netted twice in an impressive display.

"Of course our fans are allowed to dream, but we can't sing along with them - we have to stay grounded," said Rose, 43, who took charge of Gladbach after leading Red Bull Salzburg to last season's Austrian league title.

"The first few weeks of the season were tough," Rose admitted after drawing with Schalke and losing 3-1 to RB Leipzig in their opening home games.

"But from week to week, the belief has grown into what we have been planning for and we're getting stronger."

With three straight wins under their belts, Union will test the league leaders at Berlin's An der Alten Foersterei stadium, where high-fliers Freiburg and Dortmund have already lost this season.

Swiss striker Breel Embolo is back from injury leaving Rose with all three forwards fit alongside French pair Alassane Plea and new signing Marcus Thuram, who has three goals and four assists in his last six league games.

Christoph Kramer, part of the Germany squad which won the 2014 World Cup, has shaken off a knee injury to bolster the midfield.

"Our place in the table looks great, but we didn't get the points through luck," said Kramer.

"Now we have a four-point lead, which is incredibly good, but we have to be realistic, there isn't much separating the teams behind us."

The chasing pack of RB Leipzig, defending champions Bayern Munich, who are third, and Freiburg are all on 21 points - four behind Gladbach - but only two points separate second-placed Leipzig and Schalke in seventh.

Former West Germany and Gladbach legend Guenter Netzer, 75, is also wary of title talk, especially with mighty Bayern Munich, who play Fortuna Duesseldorf away on Saturday, due at Borussia Park in a fortnight.

"The team appears to have been improving, the coach seems to be really good and they made good signings, but only a third of the season has gone. Bayern haven't woken up yet," warned Netzer.

One to watch: Serge Gnabry

Robert Lewandowski can extend his league record of scoring in the first 12 games of the season if he nets at Fortuna Dusseldorf on Saturday, but his Bayern Munich team-mate Serge Gnabry is also in great form.

The 24-year-old hit a hat-trick in Germany's 6-1 demolition of Northern Ireland on Tuesday having also scored in Bayern's 4-0 thrashing of Borussia Dortmund a fortnight ago.

"He is extremely important for the team and he is technically outstanding," enthused Germany head coach Joachim Loew.

Gnabry was voted the Bundesliga's player of October after managing 14 shots on goal, and assisting with eight more, over the month.

Only Lewandowski managed two more shots during the month across the Bundesliga -- both of them assisted by Gnabry.

Interim coach Hansi Flick and his Bayern squad will be wary of a return to Duesseldorf's Merkur Spiel Arena, where they were held to a 3-3 draw last November.

Key stats

16 - the goals Lewandowski has scored in 11 league games.

19 - the league goals Fortuna Duesseldorf has conceded in 2019/20.

32 - the years since Borussia Moenchengladbach last enjoyed eight wins, a draw and two defeats from their opening 11 league games, back in 1987/88.

Fixtures (all times 1430 GMT unless stated)

Friday

Borussia Dortmund v Paderborn (1930)

Saturday

Bayer Leverkusen v Freiburg, Eintracht Frankfurt v Wolfsburg, Werder Bremen v Schalke 04, Fortuna Duesseldorf v Bayern Munich, Union Berlin v Borussia Moenchengladbach, RB Leipzig v Cologne (1730)

Sunday

Augsburg v Hertha Berlin, Hoffenheim v Mainz (1700)

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