Borussia Mönchengladbach - Bayer Leverkusen Preview: Can Borussia edge closer to a top four finish?

Preview ahead of the Matchweek 33 Bundesliga game between Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen.

Borussia Mönchengladbach - Bayer Leverkusen Preview: Can Borussia edge closer to a top four finish?
Image credit: VAVEL

Borussia Mönchengladbach entertain Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the penultimate game of the Bundesliga season on Saturday, with third place and Champions League football confirmed for Leverkusen, Borussia will look to follow in their lead and confirm a top four finish.

Champions League dream

It is a must win game for Borussia and André Schubert, who sit in fourth place but level on points with fifth place Hertha BSC. Whilst fourth place would not necessarily guarantee a spot in next season's Champions League for Schubert’s team, it would put them amongst the many teams playing to qualify for the competition.

With pressure from Hertha behind them, Borussia must focus their attention to attempting to break down Roger Schmidt’s Leverkusen, who are currently unbeaten in their previous eight Bundesliga matches.

Mönchengladbach are unbeaten in their previous two games, last week’s draw in Munich saw them deny Bayern Munich their fourth consecutive Bundesliga trophy, thanks to a late André Hahn strike. Their upcoming opponents, Leverkusen, saved them from losing their fourth place position thanks to their 2-1 victory over Hertha last week.

The reverse fixture between the two sides saw this weekend's visitors annihilate Gladbach 5-0; a result that Schubert has claimed ‘does not play a role’ with reference to the importance of this weekend’s fixture, branding the game as a ‘completely different occasion’.

Can Calhanoglu find his form on Saturday and fire Leverkusen to glory? | Image credit: Getty Images
Can Calhanoglu find his form on Saturday and fire Leverkusen to glory? | Image credit: Getty Images

Team news

Following his training injury sustained just over two weeks ago, Wendell will be absent for the rest of the season, Jonathan Tah is also set to miss the game as he recovers from illness. Leverkusen's main man, Karim Bellarabi ,is also going to be sidelined for this fixture due to suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season late in last week’s game against Hertha.

Alvaro Dominguez, Martin Stranzl and Nico Schulz will all be absent for Borussia Mönchengladbach as they recover from injury. Schubert also confirmed earlier this week that wide man Fabian Johnson will also be forced to watch from the sidelines due to a suspected groin injury.

Predicted line-ups

Borussia Mönchengladbach: Sommer; Elvedi, Christensen, Nordtveit, Wendt; Traore, Dahoud, Xhaka, Hazard; Hahn, Raffael.

Bayer Leverkusen: Leno; Bender, Ramalho, Kramer, Henrichs; Aranguiz, Kampl; Hernandez, Calhanoglu, Brandt; Kießling.

It is expected to be an intense match-up between two teams in form. With third place secured for Leverkusen, it will be interesting to see if Werkself can keep their momentum and desire going to finish the season on a remarkable high, should their form continue.

It will be a huge test of character for Borussia Mönchengladbach, who must extinguish any memory of the earlier result between the two in the season, if they wish to challenge for fourth place with Hertha BSC who host SV Darmstadt 98.