An 89th minute Daniel Caligiuri equaliser denied Die Fohlen three massive points last weekend against Augsburg. A setback in their chase for Champions League football, where the gap is now five points despite the season being only eight games old. As for their current venture into Europes elite, another successful result was on the cards when they faced off with Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday night. Captain Lars Stindl set them on their way as they romped to a comfortable 4-0 victory over their Ukranian opponents. Now sat on eight points and top of their respective group, the Champions League adventure looks like there will be a good chance of it continuing.
The prospect of Champions League football seems like a distant memory for Saturdays opponents in Schalke. Only two years ago, Domenico Tedesco was leading the Gelsenkirchen outfit out against Manchester City in a round of 16 knockout tie after achieving a second place finish the season before. Fast forward 24 months and now under the guidance of Manuel Baum, Schalke sit rock bottom and have failed to win a league game since January. 2020 has been a horrendous year for most but none less so than for Schalke, who in the past week were hit with more trouble. Vedad Ibisevic fell out with assistant manager Naldo, resulting in the veteran strikers contract being terminated in January. While, Amine Harit and Nabil Bentaleb have been banished from the first team.
Borussia Monchengladbach - Only Jonas Hofmann remains a certain absentee with his muscle tear, Alassane Plea is back with the first team after recovering from COVID-19. However, left back Ramy Bensebaini tested positive for the virus last weekend so remains in isolation.
Schalke - On top of the banished trio in Vedad Ibisevic, Amine Harit and Nabil Bentaleb, The Royal Blues are missing a number of other players. Goncalo Paciencia, Salif Sane and Ralf Fahrmann all have knee injuries while Rabbi Matondo is also ruled out. Bastian Oczipka remains a doubt.
Borussia Monchengladbach - Yann Sommer; Stefan Lainer, Nico Elvedi, Matthias Ginter, Oscar Wendt; Valentino Lazaro, Christoph Kramer, Lars Stindl, Florian Neuhaus, Marcus Thuram; Alassane Plea
Schalke - Frederik Ronnow; Matija Nastasic, Malick Thiaw, Ozan Kabak; Killian Ludewig, Omar Mascarell, Suat Serdar, Bastian Oczipka; Mark Uth, Benito Raman, Steven Skrzybski
Borussia Monchengladbach - WWLDW - Last Game 4-0 (W) vs Shakhtar Donetsk
Schalke - LDWDL - Last Game 2-0 (L) vs Wolfsburg
Ones to watch
Borussia Monchengladbach - Swiss striker Breel Embolo was signed from Saturday's opponents last summer and had a very solid debut campaign at Borussia-Park scoring eight times. Although, this season so far has been more stop start for the 23 year old after suffering from a niggling ankle injury, he did open his copybook with a wonderful over head kick against Shakhtar on Wednesday evening. Now facing the worst defence in the Bundesliga so far this season, Embolo will be looking to add to his tally.
Schalke - With both Amine Harit and Rabbi Matondo missing, German midfielder Suat Serdar stands out as Schalke's most exciting player currently. Despite, last season being a disaster for Schalke as a team, for Serdar personally it was a historic one, scoring seven times before injury cut his season short, including one in the 2-0 victory over Monchengladbach. The cultured midfielder also received his first caps for the German national team. If Schalke were to fall under the trap door this season, there is little chance that Serdar will be joining them in the Second Division.
24 matches ago, Schalke beat Monchengladbach 2-0, that was their last win. It has been a torturous 2020 for Schalke who will be hoping that they can end that run against the same opponent that they started it against.
Head to head this has been a very even fixture altogether, with Gladbach doing the double over Schalke in 18/19 while the season before both matches ended in draws.
Where to watch on TV
Borussia Monchengladbach vs Schalke 04 will be live on BT Sport 1 at 17:30 GMT.
What the managers have said
Borussia Monchengladbach - Marco Rose : "We can't underestimate anyone at this level. Schalke have a few problems, but we're focusing on ourselves. We have to have the same attitude in every game, whether in the Bundesliga or the Champions League."
Schalke - Manuel Baum : "In order to take something from Monchengladbach, it will be important to play as a team, regardless of who features."