Borussia Mönchengladbach - VfB Stuttgart Preview: Foals welcome tough Stuttgart side to town

Two sides at different ends of the spectrum clash in Gladbach, with both needing a crucial three points.

Borussia Mönchengladbach - VfB Stuttgart Preview: Foals welcome tough Stuttgart side to town
Image credit: VAVEL (Jonny Walsh)

Borussia Mönchengladbach have a tricky midweek test on Wednesday as they face a visit from VfB Stuttgart. The two sides are experiencing different seasons and sit at opposite ends of the table but it will be a tough fixture for both sides, especially since it is a midweek game.

Team news

Borussia Mönchengladbach: Andre Schubert's men are holding onto fourth place by a single point, meaning they will need a crucial three points on Wednesday to remain in the Champions League places.

They will be without Martin Stranzl, who is still recovering from a hamstring injury. Defenders Alvaro Dominguez and Tony Jantschke remain sidelined for another couple of weeks with their injuries while Nico Schulz is out the for season. Andre Hahn has provided a boost for Gladbach having returned to training this week following a broken leg last year. 

Projected XI: Sommer; Christensen, Nordtveit, Wednt, Elvedi; Dahoud, Xhaka; Traore, Herrmann, Hazard; Raffael.

Vfb Stuttgart: Currently in 12th, Stuttgart have had an inconsistent season and a mid-table finish looms unless the pick up form as soon as possible.

Injuries are few and far between for Jürgen Krammy's team and they are set to welcome back Federico Barba and Timo Baumgartl back to action, although Wednesday's match may be too soon for them. Daniel Ginczek is also close to a return from a back problem but Jan Kliment and Borys Tashchy are doubts for this week.

Projected XI: Tyton; Insua, Schwaab, Niedermeier, Großkreutz; Rupp, Gentner, Die; Maxim, Didavi, Werner.

Can Xhaka keep his cool and lead Gladbach to glory? | Image source: kicker
Can Xhaka keep his cool and lead Gladbach to glory? | Image source: kicker

Background

Gladbach are fourth in the Bundesliga this season on 36 points. They have won twice in their last five games in the league while losing two and drawing one. Stuttgart are 12th in the table with 28 points after 23 games played. Wednesday's visitors have won three of their last five, losing the other two fixtures.

Mönchengladbach are unbeaten in their last five meetings with Stuttgart, including a 3-1 win earlier this season thanks to Granit Xhaka, a Christian Gentner own goal and Raffael

Stuttgart have not beaten Wednesday's opponents since 2013, a 2-0 win at home. 

The two sides are separated by eight places in the league table but a win for Stuttgart would see them climb within just five points of Gladbach.

Raffael leads the way for Gladbach this season with ten goals while Stuttgart's top scorer is Daniel Didavi, who has netted nine times. 

Players to watch

Borussia Mönchengladbach - Granit Xhaka: The 23-year-old has been subject to interest from some of Europe's biggest clubs in recents weeks and with good reason. Xhaka has impressed mightily this season and has played a key role in Gladbach's race for the Champions League. The Swiss international is set to shine again on Wednesday against a weaker Stuttgart midfield.

VfB Stuttgart - Daniel Didavi: Nine goals this season leads his club and Didavi will need to be at his best against Gladbach's strong backline. Stuttgart have been in good form since the winter back ended and Didavi had fed off of this form.