The high from trouncing rivals Köln in the Rheinderby two weeks ago has dissipated slightly following two the last two winless games and the Foals will be keen on getting back to winning ways when they host Eintracht Frankfurt in the late game on Saturday.
A 2-2 draw last weekend at VfL Wolfsburg was followed by a defeat in the DFB Pokal at second tier SV Darmstadt. A controversial non-award of a penalty was the turning point and with VAR not in use at this stage, the referee’s mistake proved costly for the Foals. The fact that the official later apologised won’t compensate for Gladbach not being in Sunday’s third round draw.
Frankfurt enjoyed a good week with a comprehensive 5-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen last weekend followed by a cup win against Stuttgarter Kickers in midweek. Granted that Leverkusen were poor, but the Adler played well and their attacking players took full advantage of the poor Werkself defence. The two sides are one point and one place apart in the Bundesliga table so there is not much to choose between them this season thus far. A place in the top four could however be a possibility for both sides this weekend if results elsewhere go their way.
Daniel Farke will be without both Yann Sommer and Jonas Hofmann after the duo were injured in the DFB Pokal in midweek. Sommer has an ankle injury and will be replaced by Tobias Sippel while Hofmann suffered a dislocated shoulder. Stefan Laimer is out with an infection, while Christoph Kramer only resumed full training on Friday so will probably not be risked in the starting XI.
Possible line-up: Sippel; Scally, Friedrich, Elvedi, Bensebaini; Weigl, Kone; Herrmann, Stindl, Plea; Thuram
Oliver Glasner has less to worry about in terms of selection headaches. Ansgar Knauff and Makoto Hasebe remain out of action but the rest of his squad appear fit and well following the midweek Pokal win. Daichi Kamada started on the bench in midweek, but is likely to start against Gladbach.
Possible line-up: Trapp; Tuta, Jakic, Ndicka; Ebimbe, Kamada, Sow, Lenz; Lindstrom, Gotze; Kolo Muani
What they’re saying:
Daniel Farke: “We’re playing against one of the Bundesliga’s in-form teams. We’re not the favourites going into the match. But one thing is certain: as long as I see that we have players like Tobias Sippel, Patrick Herrmann, Tony Jantschke, Lars Stindl or Christoph Kramer, then there’s no need to worry. I don’t have any doubts about our squad, and they will stick together with the fans even through tough situations.
“If we were to lose three more players to injuries, then we’d simply have to tell our bus driver that he’s playing – we would still have a team that’s willing to fight and throw their bodies behind the ball.
“They are a really strong team and are one of the Bundesliga’s in-form sides. They are ahead of us in the table, so we’re up against a top team. I’m a fan of their football. They have a well-balanced squad with a lot of good players. Eintracht are strong on the ball, and you can clearly see how they want to play. It will be a tough challenge, but we’re looking forward to it.
Oliver Glasner: “We travel to Mönchengladbach with a positive feeling. The team are in good shape – we had an impressive win against Leverkusen recently and have fond memories of Borussia-Park from last season. If we win 3-2 again, we’ll go home happy.
“Gladbach are very strong on the ball and in attack. In Julian Weigl, they’ve acquired an experienced player in midfield and in Daniel Farke, they also have a very good coach. Despite the 2-1 defeat in Darmstadt [in the DFB Cup], Gladbach are a team with great technical ability and power, but they’ve also conceded one or two goals. I’m expecting a pretty even game in which both teams will attack.”
18.10.22 Darmstadt (a) 2-1 L (DFB Pokal)
15.10.22 VfL Wolfsburg (a) 2-2 D (Bundesliga)
09.10.22 Köln (h) 5-2 W (Bundesliga)
01.10.22 Werder Bremen (a) 5-1 L (Bundesliga)
17.09.22 RB Leipzig (h) 3-0 W (Bundesliga)
11.09.22 Freiburg (a) 0-0 D (Bundesliga)
18.10.22 Stuttgarter Kickers (a) 0-2 W (DFB Pokal)
15.10.22 Bayer Leverkusen (h) 5-1 W (Bundesliga)
11.08.22 Porto (h) 0-3 L (Champions League)
08.10.22 Schalke (h) 4-0 (Bundesliga)
04.10.22 Porto (a) 0-2 L (Champions League)
30.09.22 Bayern Munich (a) 4-0 L (Bundesliga)
The corresponding fixture at the Borussia Park last season took place on matchday 16 with five goals in a condensed period either side of half time seeing the visitors Frankfurt to a 3-2 win. Florian Neuhaus opened the scoring in the sixth minute with Rafael Borre equalising just before the break. Jesper Lindstrom scored five minutes after the interval, but a Ramy Bensebaini penalty levelled the scores soon after. Frankfurt however were back in front a minute later via Daichi Kamada before Tuta added to the dram with a red card.
Players to watch:
It will be a battle between two former Borussia Dortmund teammates as Julian Weigl goes up against Mario Götze. Since his arrival from Benfica on loan, the 27-year-old has formed a good partnership with Manu Koné pushing Christoph Kramer into a more advanced position.
Mario Götze also returned to the Bundesliga this summer after his spell in the Netherlands with PSVEindhoven and is playing so well for the Adler that his name is being mentioned as a possible late wildcard call-up for the German World Cup squad.