Borussia Mönchengladbach - Eintracht Frankfurt Preview: Foals hope to inflict more misery on Frankfurt

The two teams have very different ambitions but one clear goal - to take three points from this game.

Borussia Mönchengladbach - Eintracht Frankfurt Preview: Foals hope to inflict more misery on Frankfurt
Image credit: kicker - Getty Images

Eintracht Frankfurt travel to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday afternoon, in what will be Niko Kovac's first game in charge of the Eagles.

A baying crowd at Borussia-Park will be hoping their side can spoil any plans of a debut win, in order to move back into the UEFA Champions League spots.

Frankfurt are desperate to move out of the relegation play-off place, after they failed to kick on following the Christmas break.

Schubert keen on consistency

After starting with a winning run that any manager would have been proud of, André Schubert's side have slowed down in recent weeks. Five defeats, four win and a draw in their last 10 games represents a real mixed bag, and is a far cry from the side that were tearing up trees in the early months of his reign.

Key loses to fellow European hopefuls, Borussia Dortmund, 1. FSV Mainz 05 and VfL Wolfsburg mean that they have slipped down to sixth. Defeat against the Eagles on Saturday could see them fall further to eighth, although victory and some favourable results would lad them in third; such is nature of the tight pack chasing a European berth.

The 2-1 reverse to Wolfsburg last weekend saw them miss the chance to move behind BVB and Bayern Munich, but the team will be desperate to set the record straight and start a much better run of form, like earlier in the season. With so many teams dropping points, a run of five wins could see Gladbach clear favourites in the race for third.

Frankfurt hoping Kovac can turn things around

The Foals may have been inconsistent but the Eagles have won just twice in their last 10 games. That run includes a seven-game winless run, which they are currently in the middle of. Confidence is at rock bottom, and is something Kovac has already said he wants to work on, improve and gradually build back up.

Wins against Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg before and after the Winter Break, respectively, proved to be a false dawn and ultimately the recent run of defeats and draws are what cost Armin Veh his job. Despite the doom and gloom surrounding the club, there are enough talented and experienced players to turn the situation around.

The likes of Alexander Meier, Marc Stendera, Stefan Aigner, Lukas Hradecky and Carlos Zambrano are much better than the position they currently sit in. It will be about pride as much as anything else to fight and battle their way to safety, to show that 16th does not represent their talents and the size and stature of the club.

Kovac is hoping to hit the ground running. | Image source: Eintracht Frankfurt
Kovac is hoping to hit the ground running. | Image source: Eintracht Frankfurt

Team news

After wing woes were their problem earlier in the season, Schubert now has a defensive dilemma. Alvaro Dominguez, Tony Jantschke, Martin Stranzl, Oscar Wendt and Nico Schulz are all out of the game, meaning Gladbach may field a defence that has not yet played together this term. That aside, Schubert has no other worries.

The hosts have problems, but Frankfurt's are much greater. Lukas Hradecky, Bamba Anderson, Aleksandar Ignjovski, Johannes Flum, Mijat Gacinovic, Stefan Reinartz, Marc Stendera and Alex Meier are unavailable for Kovac's first game. Given that they are all first-team players, it could be a struggle to pick up a positive result.

Recent meetings

Frankfurt are hoping there will be no repeat of the 5-1 drubbing they suffered at home to Gladbach back in October. The last 10 tussles between the two teams have seen the Foals come out on top six times, with Frankfurt winning three and the other ended in a goal-less stalemate last season.

Saturday's hosts were on a five-match winning run against the Eagles up until a 3-1 defeat in November 2014. After their impressive display in the first fixture this season, Schubert and his men will be out to start a similar vein of form and claim another vital win.


Michael Weiner will be the man in the middle on Saturday. The 46-year-old is in his 18th year as a Bundesliga official, and is one of the more experienced in the DFB's set of referees. This will be his fifth game of the current Bundesliga campaign, having handed out 13 yellow cards in the previous four. 

Predicted line-ups

Borussia Mönchengladbach: (4-4-2) Sommer; Elvedi, Christensen, Nordtveit, Hinteregger; Hazard, Dahoud, Xhaka, Johnson; Stindl, Raffael.

Eintracht Frankfurt: (4-2-3-1) Lindner; Regäsel, Zambrano, Abraham, Oczipka; Russ, Hasebe; Aigner, Fabian, Ben-Hatira; Seferovic.