Borussia Mönchengladbach - TSG 1899 Hoffenheim Preview: Fighting Foals hopeful of top four finish
Image credit: VAVEL

Borussia Mönchengladbach remain hopeful of participating in back-to-back Champions League competitions following last year's success, whereas their opponents, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, will be looking to build on their renaissance under new manager Julian Nagelsmann.


The home side have enjoyed an interesting Rückrunde, one blighted with alarming inconsistency. Recent weeks have done little to change this scenario, yet the Foals remain in contention for a Top 4 finish, as a result of common incompetence from those around them.

Away form has been the number one enemy for André Schubert's men this season who've lost seven of their last eight Bundesliga matches on the road, including a drab recent loss to last-placed Hannover.

On the flip side, Gladbach's home record has been close to exemplary, sitting behind just the top two, proving Borussia-Park is still a fortress. Yet to concede at home since early February, after demolishing Werder Bremen, other sides have shared the same fate like Eintracht Frankfurt and rivals Hertha BSC in what has been a whirlwind of astounding performances reminiscent of last season's success.

Fabian Johnson celebrates a goal away to Hoffenheim | Photo: Expess
Fabian Johnson celebrates a goal away to Hoffenheim | Photo: Expess

Under their new boss, Hoffenheim have been a breath of fresh air after another stale campaign which has seen the avoidance of relegation become the main focus.

Since taking over from Huub Stevens, who was forced to step down due to health reasons, Nagelsmann appears to have turned the sinking ship around and away from the sharp rocks. Hoffenheim have won six of their last nine, an impressive run for a side facing the drop - Admittedly, most of these wins have been against the lower sides.

Hoffenheim remain three points above the relegation zone, after their impressive win over Hertha, after coming from behind, but their opposition are likely to pose a significantly bigger threat.

Squad sitrep

Gladbach's suffered a blow days ago as the soon-to-be returning Martin Stranzl suffered a new set-back with a pelvic injury suffered in Wednesday morning's high-intensity training. Fellow defenders Álvaro Domínguez and Tony Jantschke are also out, as well as winger Niko Schulz.

The defence remains strained with Mahmoud Dahoud and Nico Elvedi missing the session and, as a result, remain doubtful. Lars Stindl has been given the weekend off due to non-serious personal reasons. Granit Xhaka may return.

As for die Kraichgauer, things are not as bad. Injuries are fewer and less severe. Ermin Bičakčić, Kevin Kuranyi, Kim Jin-Su, Fabian Schär and Kai Herdling are doubtful, with the latter looking the most promising.

The reverse fixture between these two was nothing short of a thriller. Hoffenheim battled back from conceding early to earn a first-half two-goal lead, before Gladbach dominated after the break to earn a hard-fought draw.