Earlier this week, news broke that Eintracht Frankfurt manager Adi Hütter will be leaving at the end of the season to join Borussia Mönchengladbach. Now, on Saturday, the two sides will face off against each other as they both chase European football of different sorts.
Marco Rose, the current Gladbach manager, has seen a slight turnaround in form from his side in recent weeks. After a dismal run through February and March, Die Fohlen have won two and drawn the other in their past three outings. Last weekend's match against Hertha Berlin ended in a 2-2 draw, which seems like an extremely ordinary point away to a relegation contender on the face of it. However, goalkeeper Yann Sommer was sent off in the 13th minute, which was his first red card since joining the club in 2014. As a result, Gladbach had to play 77 minutes with 10 men, so the result is a bit more impressive than it seems at first. This point leaves them four points off of Bayer Leverkusen in 6th, so a potential Europa League spot is still well within their grasps.
As for Frankfurt, it will be interesting to see how their season pans out following the aforementioned Hütter news. Currently in 4th with a seven point lead over Borussia Dortmund in 5th, things are going well. However, the slump Gladbach suffered after Rose announced he was leaving in the summer was clear for everyone to see, and it would be a real shame if the same was to happen at the Commerzbank-Arena, especially after such an enthralling win against Wolfsburg last Saturday. An absolute thriller, Die Adler eventually won 4-3 after goals from Daichi Kamada, André Silva, Luka Jović, and Erik Durm. This moved them to within a point of Wolfsburg while maintaining their advantage over Dortmund, who they had beaten the week prior, in the fight for UEFA Champions League qualification.
Borussia Mönchengladbach - Both Christoph Kramer and Yann Sommer are suspended, while Lars Stindl has a muscle strain, so he will not play either. There is some good news, as Nico Elvedi is available after missing a number of games following the international break.
Eintracht Frankfurt - Almamy Touré and Ragnar Ache are certainties to miss out, while centre-back Martin Hinteregger is nearing a return, but is still a doubt for the contest. Sebastian Rode and Amin Younes picked up knocks against Wolfsburg, but both should be fine to play on Saturday.
Borussia Mönchengladbach - Tobias Sippel; Stefan Lainer, Nico Elvedi, Matthias Ginter, Ramy Bensebaini; Florian Neuhaus, Denis Zakaria; Valentino Lazaro, Hannes Wolf, Marcus Thuram; Alassane Pléa
Eintracht Frankfurt - Kevin Trapp; Tuta, Martin Hinteregger, Evan N'Dicka; Erik Durm, Djibril Sow, Sebastian Rode, Filip Kostić; Daichi Kamada; André Silva, Luka Jović
Borussia Mönchengladbach - LLWWD - last game - 2-2 vs Hertha Berlin
Eintracht Frankfurt - DDWWW - last game - 4-3 (W) vs Wolfsburg
Ones to watch
Borussia Mönchengladbach - After Yann Sommer's red card against Hertha Berlin, backup goalkeeper Tobias Sippel is expected to deputise for him against Frankfurt. It will be interesting to see how the 33-year-old does, as he has only appeared in nine league games since arriving from Kaiserslautern in 2015. Will his rustiness cost Gladbach, or will Sippel be able to step up to the challenge?
Eintracht Frankfurt - André Silva has been an absolute revelation for Die Adler this season. Before arriving in Germany, Silva had struggled since his breakthrough season at Porto in 2017, spending one year at both AC Milan and Sevilla. He has found a home at Frankfurt, though, scoring 35 goals since joining in the summer of 2019. With impending departures in both the boardroom and in management, there could be a chance that the Portuguese striker leaves in the summer. If that is to happen, he won't have a lack of suitors.
Mönchengladbach have had the edge in this matchup in recent seasons, winning three of the last five encounters, with Frankfurt's last victory against Die Fohlen coming at the start of 2018.
The game earlier in the season ended in a 3-3 draw as Gladbach captain Lars Stindl scored a hat-trick, with two coming in the final five minutes, to salvage a draw for his side.
How to watch
Unfortunately this game will not be broadcasted live in the UK, but the contest will be on ESPN+ at 9:30 a.m. EST for those in the United States.
What have the managers said ?
Borussia Mönchengladbach manager Marco Rose - "We will face a big challenge against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday, but we will take it on. We still have objectives we want to achieve this season."
"On Saturday I'll be responsible for Gladbach and Hütter will be responsible for Eintracht. Given the situation, this encounter is obviously more intriguing for those on the outside, but we are preparing for it as normal. It's nothing out of the ordinary for me."
Eintracht Frankfurt manager Adi Hütter - "It needs to be clear that my focus until the summer is 100% on Eintracht, and I'll only be thinking about Mönchengladbach after that. Our main aim is to make it into the Champions League."
"It's not going to be easy on Saturday, but we want to try to extend the cushion we have over Borussia Dortmund. It'll be two teams who play good football and are both looking to win."