Borussia Monchengladbach welcome Borussia Dortmund in one of the more eye-catching fixtures of Matchday 19 in the Bundesliga on Friday night.
The hosts go into this six-pointer in fine form, winning three out of their last four games with their latest victory coming in a 1-0 win over Werder Bremen on Tuesday evening.
A sole Nico Elvedi goal saw them overcome a resolute Bremen in which was a largely forgettable affair. However, if they can back that up with another win against Dortmund, Marco Rose's team will jump above their opponents and into a Champions League spot for the time being with direct rivals, Wolfsburg and Union Berlin playing later in the weekend.
As for Dortmund, a 2-1 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen saw their title hopes all but fade away. An intriguing game in which Leverkusen dominated the first half, but Dortmund came back into the game in the second half saw Florian Wirtz's strike ten minutes from time being the difference.
Despite the defeat on Tuesday, interim manager Edin Terzic has seen a turnaround in form since taking over which included an impressive 3-1 away win against Leipzig.
Both Marcus Thuram and Breel Embolo will return to the Monchengladbach squad after their respective misdemeanours. Thuram who missed five games after spitting at Stefan Posch in a game against Hoffenheim before Christmas while Embolo missed the game on Tuesday due to breaking COVID-19 protocol. The only absentee is Valentino Lazaro who is struggling with a muscle injury.
Unlike Gladbach, Dortmund are missing a number of key players. Ex-foal Thorgan Hazard again misses out due to a muscle injury, Marcel Schmelzer is recovering from a knee operation while integral midfielder Axel Witsel is likely to miss the rest of the season with an achilles problem. Dan-Axel Zagadou also will miss out after limping off against Mainz last weekend, Thomas Delaney has accumulated five yellows so will be suspended for Friday's game.
Borussia Monchengladbach: Yann Sommer; Stefan Lainer, Nico Elvedi, Matthias Ginter, Ramy Bensebaini; Florian Neuhaus, Christoph Kramer; Patrick Herrmann, Lars Stindl, Jonas Hofmann; Alassane Plea
Borussia Dortmund: Roman Burki; Thomas Meunier, Manuel Akanji, Mats Hummels, Raphael Guerreiro; Jude Bellingham, Emre Can; Jadon Sancho, Marco Reus, Gio Reyna; Erling Haaland
Borussia Monchengladbach - WWWDW - last game - 1-0 (W) vs Werder Bremen
Borussia Dortmund - WWWDL - last game - 2-1 (L) vs Bayer Leverkusen
Ones to watch
One player for Marco Rose's team that may get overlooked at times is Swiss centre back Nico Elvedi, who stepped up in the win on Tuesday. Gladbach were struggling to break down a very well organised Bremen team until Elvedi latched onto a cross and headed in the eventual winner mid way through the second half. Not usually known for his attacking impact as him and Matthias Ginter have built an extremely solid centre back partnership over a few seasons now but the test on Friday does not come much tougher. Arguably the hottest property in world football in Erling Haaland is coming to town so they will have to be very much on their guard.
Jadon Sancho had an underwhelming start to the season based on the standards he has set. However, since the turn of the year, the young Englishman has returned to form especially in the win at Leipzig. Under Terzic, Sancho looks like he has got his confidence and groove back which he had lost in the final months of Lucien Favre's reign. Any hope of a positive result at Borussia-Park is likely to come through him or the superb Haaland.
A fixture between two of German footballs more successful clubs is surprisingly dominated by one team. Borussia Dortmund have won the past 11 league fixtures between the teams including some annihilations such as the 6-1 victory in 2017. With Gladbach's last win coming back in 2015.
Earlier in the season, Dortmund ran out comfortable winners with a 3-0 victory to kick their campaign off.
Where to watch on TV
The game will be broadcast live in the UK on BT Sport 2 at 19:30 GMT
What have the managers said
Marco Rose: "We're feeling positive going into the game. We have picked up 10 points from our four games in 2021. Tomorrow, we have the chance to climb the table. We want to make a statement and stay in the mix at the top."
"It's a game against a direct rival, but there are still 'only' three points up for grabs. Nevertheless, we want to underline our ambitions with a win tomorrow night."
Edin Terzic: "We discussed the Leverkusen match in great detail and we expect the guys to perform differently tomorrow."
"Our body language in the first half was not ideal. But we know from the match in Leipzig, for example, that we can do much better and it's our goal to flip that switch again."