The soccer news starts with the end of the October international window and the return to the club schedule. Specifically in the Bundesliga, where a league table without Bayern Munich at the top is a surprise. Bayern is in 3rd-place on 14 points after 7 games, a point behind 2nd-place Wolfsburg and two behind of leaders Gladbach.
Fabian Johnson's Gladbach has lost just once this season, 3-1 at home to RB Leipzig on August 30. That was an expected result at the time, with Leipzig expected to be the team challenging Bayern for the title. Instead, Leipzig is one of the five teams tied with Bayern on 14 points. All are obviously in contention two points behind Gladbach, but a shakeout is likely sooner or later.
That could start to show as early as this weekend. 5th-place RB Leipzig hosts Wolfsburg on Saturday with Gladbach at 8th-place Borussia Dortmund. John Brooks is recovering from injury, playing in Wolfsburg's international break friendly against Paderborn. Johnson is out for Gladbach with a groin injury.
Bayern is at Augsburg, though no game is an easy one coming off of their 2-1 home loss to Hoffenheim and struggling to beat Paderborn 3-2 away. In between was that massive 7-2 Champions League win at Spurs, showing how hard Bayern Munich is to figure out this season. Meanwhile, Gladbach is playing a version of total football that may just be starting to sync. Their 5-1 win over Augsburg at home in their final game before the October break followed a 3-0 shutout at Hoffenheim.
"We played a very strong Gegenpressing game, worked hard and were especially effective in the first-half," Gladbach coach Marco Rose said following the home win over Augsburg. "Overall, my boys played really well. That’s why we are happy about the win. The fact that we also ended up taking top spot in the league is a nice bonus. In the past few weeks, we’ve noticed that the league table isn’t constant, but very prone to change, which is why it’s hard to classify the feeling of being top at the moment."
Also in the soccer news, BBC Sport's Chris Collinson looks at the big teams already in trouble in the Premier League. FourFourTwo's Seb Stafford-Bloor on Mauricio Pochettino's situation at Spurs. The Guardian's Paul Wilson asks about Liverpool's win streak and Premier League parity.
The National's Richard Deitsch interviews ESPN soccer commentators Ian Darke and Taylor Twellman. The Telegraph's Matt Law argues that Minnesota United goalkeeper Vito Mannone might be the best player to join MLS from an English club. Charlote Business Journal's Erik Spanberg reports on a potential training site should the city get an MLS expansion team.
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Logo courtesy of Gladbach