Two inconsistent sides face off on Saturday afternoon as Borussia Monchengladbach hosts Mainz at Borussia-Park.
In what has been a turbulent week for Gladbach, the attention now switches to the on-field action. News of Marco Rose's summer departure broke on Monday, one day after the team's 0-0 draw in Wolfsburg. A performance that lacked in quality but certainly didn't in work rate and in endeavour, the overall viewing of the match between 3rd and 7th was rather disappointing, though. Moving forward with Marco Rose for the time being, they welcome an improving Mainz team this weekend.
Since Bo Svensson, a former Mainz defender who played 109 times for the club, was appointed in January, the team has seen a significant up turn in results and performances. In recent weeks, a victory over RB Leipzig as well as their last gasp draw at Bayer Leverkusen has helped Die Nullfunter climb closer to the teams above them. Now only four points off Hertha Berlin in 15th, Mainz's fight for survival is far from over just yet.
Borussia Monchengladbach - Marcus Thuram should return against Mainz after missing the clash in Wolfsburg with a slight knee issue. The only potential absentee is Denis Zakaria, who also missed the game with a knee problem and has not fully recovered from it yet.
Mainz - There are two injury issues for the visitors this weekend with Robin Quaison and Edimilson Fernandes out with respective knee and ankle problems.
Borussia Monchengladbach - Yann Sommer; Stefan Lainer, Nico Elvedi, Matthias Ginter, Ramy Bensebaini; Florian Neuhaus, Christoph Kramer; Jonas Hofmann, Lars Stindl, Valentino Lazaro; Alassane Plea
Mainz - Robin Zentner; Moussa Niakhate, Jeremiah St.Juste, Stefan Bell; Danny da Costa, Leandro Martins, Dominik Kohr, Philip Mwene; Jonathan Burkhardt, Robert Glatzel; Karim Onisiwo
Borussia Monchengladbach - WDWLD - last game - 0-0 vs Wolfsburg
Mainz - LWLWD - last game - 2-2 vs Bayer Leverkusen
Ones to watch
Borussia Monchengladbach - The man who has just turned 30 in Christoph Kramer has been at Borussia-Park for almost every season since 2013 (he spent the 2015/16 season at Bayer Leverkusen). Putting in consistent performances year in, year out, the former World Cup winner has become a mainstay in the Gladbach starting XI this season. With Denis Zakaria missing for the start of the campaign, Kramer built up a partnership with Florian Neuhaus. They've worked well together, with Kramer playing in the six allowing Neuhaus to flow in the eight, and Kramer's defensive work has not gone unnoticed with Rose praising him on multiple occasions.
Mainz - Although the arrivals of Danny da Costa and Dominik Kohr, both on loan from Eintracht Frankfurt, have certainly given the team a lift, there's been an unlikely hero in the side as of late. That man is Moussa Niakhate, whose goal scoring return has come as a surprise to many. He scored twice in the 3-2 victory over Leipzig and then grabbed the match winner from the penalty spot against Union Berlin. The French defender has stepped up when needed for Bo Svensson since coming in, and he will be looking to add to his tally on Saturday.
As expected, Borussia Monchengladbach have dominated this fixture in recent years. Mainz's last victory came all the way back in 2016, with the Foals winning the last five matches between the two teams.
A 3-2 victory earlier this season for Gladbach turned out to be quite the thriller, with a late winner coming from Matthias Ginter after two goals from the recently departed Jean-Philippe Mateta saw Mainz take the lead.
Where to watch on TV
Unfortunately, this game will not be broadcasted live in the UK, but fans in the United States can watch the contest on ESPN+.
What have they said ?
Mainz, Bo Svensson - "Gladbach is a tough opponent that awaits us on Saturday! Of course, it's been a good start to the week, after the game in Leverkusen. Not only because of thee late comeback, but simply because of the performance over the 90 minutes!"
"The task is to repeat the performance of the last few games! Gladbach is a top team in every position, so we will be tested once again. We have to do many things right again to be able to score there."