Borussia Mönchengladbach welcome Werder Bremen to Borussia Park for the late kick-off on Saturday.
Gladbach have had a mixed campaign so far, defeating Bayer Leverkusen on Matchday One before suffering resounding defeats away to both Freiburg in the Bundesliga and Manchester City in the Champions League.
Saturday’s hosts ran out 5-1 winners in the fixture at Borussia Park last season thanks to a brace from Chelsea loanee Andreas Christensen, a result which itself halted a run of five defeats in six competitive games at the beginning of the year.
However, the visitors have some reason to be positive, having defeated Gladbach in two of the three fixtures between these sides last season, a 2-1 victory in the league at the beginning of last season followed by 4-3 away success in the DFB Pokal last 16. Given the last two games at Borussia Park, another goal fest may be on the cards.
André Schubert said that “there is no news to report about the squad” in today’s press conference, with Patrick Herrmann, Álvaro Domínguez, Josip Drmić and Mamadou Doucouré all still side-lined through injury.
However, Schubert was forced to come out and defend one of the youngest yet most talented members of his squad, Mahmoud Dahoud, after his recent indifferent displays.
“Mahmoud Dahoud is a young player who is currently not playing at his best, so he will have to learn to work through these phases,” the 45-year-old said.
Bremen coach Viktor Skrypnyk confirmed in his press conference yesterday that Fin Bartels would miss the game with an adductor problem. Izet Hajrović could come in as a direct replacement for Bartels, although new signing Florian Kainz is expected to take the 29-year-old’s position in the squad for this weekend.
Skrypnyk will also be able to count on the services of Finnish centre-back Niklas Moisander, who trained for the first time this week following his injury, and Serge Gnabry, who had a brief rest this week after his participation at the Olympics, before training yesterday.
Possible Starting XI’s
Borussia Mönchengladbach: Sommer – Elvedi, Christensen, Strobl – Johnson, Stindl, Dahoud, Kramer, Wendt – Hahn, Raffael
SV Werder Bremen: Wiedwald – Gebre Selassie, Sané, Caldirola, Bauer – Grillitsch, Fritz, Hajrović, Junuzović, Gnabry – Johansson
Prediction – Gladbach 2-0 Bremen
After Gladbach’s humbling defeat on Wednesday night, I expect them to bounce back here, given that they have won eight Bundesliga games on the trot. Given the contrast with Bremen’s away form, a team that has taken just one point from its last five league games, the home side have surely been presented with an opportunity to restore some calm amongst the Gladbach faithful.