Thomas Tuchel's Dortmund slipped to a 2-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt away from home, failing to capitalise on a 1-0 morale-boosting win over rivals Bayern Munich. The loss saw them fall six points behind Munich and now they sit at 7th place in the Bundesliga table.
If Tuchel is turn to this side's inconsistency into consistency, he has to win this fixture if his side have any hopes of making it to the Champions league places this season, it hasn't been a straight-forward ride this season for them this campaign by any measure. Other sides have stepped and have proven their mettle, including surprise leaders RB Leipzig and below them the likes of Hertha BSC, 1. FC Köln and last week's winner Frankfurt are all making giant strides in terms of their progress in the league.
Things look even more bleak for André Schubert's men as they are now winless in seven games, this poor run of games has seen Die Fohlen come perilously close to the relegation zone, something they wouldn't have imagined at the start of the season with the club hoping to qualify for Europe this season, they are a long way from achieving that target and a win against Dortmund will be a huge boost in terms of morale and might also prove to be a turning point in their season.
A win is must for Dortmund to revive title challenge
At the start of the season, nobody could've predicted the title race to be so full of twists and turns but that's how it panned out and now Dortmund face a tough task if they are to pull themselves back into the race and reviving their title aspirations.
Tuchel commands a young team full of talent across the pitch and a team that enjoys their coach's attacking philosophy, unfortunately for them things haven't exactly been smooth for the club as they sit seventh in the league standings after indifferent performances and this begs the question if this team is good enough or rather consistent enough to challenge for the Bundesliga crown and dethrone Bayern Munich.
Despite of winning six of their 12 games so far this season, Dortmund have managed to draw thrice and also lose three games, this run of results has consequently led to the team standing in seventh place on the table even though they have a greater goal difference than two teams above them, they haven't been able to score the goals when it counted most and now Tuchel will be hoping a win against Gladbach could mean the start of their climb back into title contention.
Dortmund can take heart from the fact that they have been unbeaten at home for the past 27 games and are a tough nut to crack at the Westfalenstadion with the Yellow Wall backing the team to go on and give it their best in each home game. Tuchel has remained unbeaten as Dortmund manager at home and will be hoping that run goes on after the game against Gladbach.
For Dortmund, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Marco Reus are two players that are always center to all the goals and all their attacks, the team plays better when those two players are involved, with Aubameyang leading the Bundesliga charts with 13 goals this season, one more goal than the entire Gladbach team combined have managed to score this season so far.
History is in favour of Dortmund when it comes to facing Gladbach, the Yellow and black outfit have managed to emerge victorious on nine occasions out of their past ten meetings at the Westfalenstadion, and have also managed to kept a clean sheet in five of those wins. These numbers all seem positive for Dortmund, but when it comes to performing on the pitch, they will hope to justify those strong numbers and build on their good run of form against their upcoming opponents.
Nothing but a win will matter to Schubert's Gladbach
Last season, Gladbach's season looked to be a disappointment under ex-coach Lucien Favre, but Schubert stepped in and stabilised the Gladbach ship and led them to Champions league qualification after some fantastic victories against the big guns including a 3-1 victory against Pep Guardiola's Bayern, which came as a big surprise to all their rivals in qualification for Europe.
This season, however things haven't been going well for Die Fohlen as they sit 13th in the league table edging closer to the relegation battle as they aim to turn their fortunes around to have any hopes of challenging for European places. Gladbach have found victories hard to come by of late, the team hasn't managed to win in their past seven fixtures, their worst run of form in recent years and manager Schubert will be hoping his team can pull off a miracle and get the victory they so desire.
Schubert has tried and tested various tactics with his team and also rotates his team when he feels he needs to. This inconsistency in tactics has in turn seen his team provide a poor output in front of goal as they have managed only 12 goals in the 12 games so far in the league. Captain Lars Stindl along with teammate Thorgan Hazard have each contributed with three goals to Gladbach's struggles this season.
Gladbach's away form this season has been alarming, they've managed to gain only one point away from Borussia-Park. This is certain to worry Gladbach fans as well as the fact that their team has managed to score only three goals in the second half and conceded 13 goals in the same half, a worrying statistic for Schubert indeed.
Borussia Dortmund: (4-1-4-1): Weidenfeller; Piszczek, Sokratis, Ginter, Schmelzer; Weigl, Dembélé, Castro, Götze, Reus; Aubameyang.
Borussia Mönchengladbach: (3-4-1-2): Sommer; Elvedi,Christensen, Jantschke; Korb, Strobl, Kramer, Wendt; Dahoud; Stindl, Raffael.