Borussia Mönchengladbach vs FC Barcelona Preview: Gladbach aim to keep Neymar and Suarez at bay

Borussia Mönchengladbach vs FC Barcelona Preview: Gladbach aim to keep Neymar and Suarez at bay

Barcelona are without Lionel Messi but will still be heavy favourites as they travel to Borussia-Park.

Harry Harris

Borussia Mönchengladbach will be aiming to bounce back from a thrashing in their UEFA Champions League opener but will have their hands more than full as Barcelona come to town.

The Germans were beaten comfortably 4-0 in their Group C opener by Manchester City while Barcelona stormed to a 7-0 win over Celtic.

Team News

Gladbach's expected team are raring to go ahead of the giant clash at Borussia-Park but depth is an issue for the German side heading into Wednesday.

Joel Mero and Mamadou Doucoure are close to returns but star striker Raffael is unlikely to feature as he struggles with a groin injury. Marvin Schulz and Tobias Strobl are also doubts.

Gladbach come into the game in good form, unbeaten in their last three games, and fresh off a 2-0 win over Ingolstadt at the weekend. They will most certainly be hoping to make home form count in this fixture, having won just one away game in 2016.

There is also good news in the form of André Schubert's decision to extend his stay with the Foals until 2019. They have lost just one fixture in their last 18 home games, winning sixteen of those.

Projected XI: Sommer; Christensen, Elvedi, Jantschke; Johnson, Kramer, Dahoud, Hazard; Traore, Stindl, Hahn.

The reigning La Liga champions are without the world's best player, Lionel Messi but are still capable of wreaking havoc on opposing teams through Neymar and Luis Suarez.

The only other injury worry for Barcelona is summer signing Samuel Umtiti but the centre-back should be ready to go on Wednesday evening.

Barcelona are unbeaten in their last four and were rampant over the weekend, winning 5-0 against Sporting Gijon.

Projected XI: Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto; Umtiti, Pique, Digne; Busquets, Andre Gomes, Iniesta; Neymar, Suarez, Rafinha.

What's at stake?

Borussia Mönchengladbach will be hoping to shock everyone and steal at least a point on Wednesday, despite being at home. The Germans will need anything they can get as they will likely battle Celtic for third in the group, with Barcelona and Manchester City flying high at the moment.

Barcelona scored seven times in their last Champions League outing and with Man City hot on their heels, the Spanish giants will need a big performance to keep them top of Group C.

The two sides have never met before in any competition but with Gladbach continuing their rise to prominence, this may be the first of many meetings, if they eventually meet again in future competitions.