Camp Nou. Juventus Stadium. The Etihad Stadium. The Allianz Arena. Borussia Park. The list of Europe’s strongest home fortresses contains some predictable names, but the addition of Borussia Monchengladbach’s ground perhaps makes for surprising reading.
Lucien Favre’s side have made a superb start to the season and are currently in the running for a return to the top four. There can be no doubting that their performances on their own back yard have been the catalyst for the run.
Of the nine games the Foals have played at Borussia Park, they have won eight, drawing just once – their final game before the winter break when Wolfsburg rescued a 2-2 draw thanks to a late Bas Dost goal.
In England, Manchester City have steamrollered every team who stood in their way at the Etihad Stadium, putting six goals past Arsenal and Tottenham and netting four times against Manchester United.
The foundation of Barcelona’s Liga defence has come on home soil, with the Catalans boasting a 100 per cent record at Camp Nou, including the scalp of Real Madrid in October’s Clasico.
Similarly, while Juventus may have struggled in the Champions League this term, the Bianconeri have been dominant in Italy: the only five points they've dropped in Serie A so far this season were on the road.
Paris Saint-Germain are coasting towards a second straight Ligue 1 title, with only Ajaccio, Monaco and Saint-Etienne having managed to escape from the Parc des Princes with anything.
Bayern Munich have predictably won all of their Bundesliga games at the Allianz Arena, but are yet to host the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Schalke and Bayer Leverkusen, the last team to beat them domestically.
Perhaps Gladbach have the most realistic chance of scuppering Bayern’s unbeaten season. Their home form has been extraordinary, having defeated Schalke and Dortmund earlier in the season. Were their away form anywhere near as good, they would have a genuine chance of winning their first title since 1977.
In recent years, they have enjoyed a great record against Bayern, too. Last term, they held the eventual champions to a draw in Munich before being edged out 4-3 on the final day of the season on home soil.
They also made Pep Guardiola’s side battle hard for victory in the Spaniard’s first match as a Bundesliga coach last August.
So, while Bayern have always raised their game when playing the best teams in Germany this term, Friday’s encounter is by no means a foregone conclusion. One January evening two years ago, Marco Reus and Patrick Herrmann inspired Favre’s side to a 3-1 win over the Bavarians; who’s to say the Foals can’t do it again?