Borussia Monchengladbach will look to continue their superb run of form as they lock horns with Istanbul Basaksehir in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday.
Borussia Monchengladbach were on the receiving end of a massive upset in the opening matchday of this season’s UEFA Europa League, slumping to a whopping 4-0 defeat against Wolfsberg. However, they have responded really well since and will be full of confidence when they travel to Turkey to face Istanbul Basaksehir on Thursday.
Indeed, the Bundesliga giants have won their last two league matches against Fortuna Dusseldorf and TSG Hoffenheim respectively. They had also won against 1.FC Koln before the encounter with Wolfsburg a couple of weeks ago. Either way, a win is imperative as the Foals seek to bounce back after a disappointing start to the campaign.
As for Basaksehir, they too started their Europa League campaign with a 4-0 defeat. But, they were up against tournament favourites AS Roma. That means both these clubs are in the same position as far as the group table is concerned.
Basaksehir, however, come into the game on the back of a refreshing 5-0 win over Rizespor in their last league game. And with the backing of the home ground, they will be confident of their chances against their German counterparts.
Here, at the Hard Tackle, we take a look at these two teams ahead of their important match-up in the Europa League tomorrow.
Team News & Tactics
Basaksehir manager Okan Buruk will have one eye on the important weekend league fixture against Gazisehir. But, he is expected to retain the services of few of his star men in this encounter, including top scorer Enzo Crivelli. The new signing from SM Caen will lead the attack, having already netted three goals so far this season.
Arda Turan may return to the starting lineup, at the expense of Fredrik Gulbrandsen. Carlos Ponck could return as well, having started the last match against Roma. The 24-year-old defender will replace Martin Skrtel and will be partnered by Mehmet Topal in central defence.
As for Turan, he will likely operate as the left-winger, with Edin Visca starting on the opposite flank. It will be interesting to see how these two attackers fare against Gladbach tomorrow.
Irfan Can Kahveci is a guaranteed starter in central midfield. He will be partnered by Danijel Aleksic and club captain Mahmut Tekdemir, who could occupy a slightly deeper role. He will be tasked with the responsibility of providing defensive cover for the backline.
The full-back slots, meanwhile, will be occupied by Gael Clichy and former Schalke defender Junior Caicara, with Mert Gunok starting in between the sticks for Basaksehir.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Gunok; Caicara, Topal, Ponck, Clichy; Aleksic, Tekdemir, Kahveci; Visca, Crivelli, Turan
Gladbach coach Marco Rose will be missing out on the services of a host of key players, including Jonas Hofmann, Tobias Strobl and Ibrahima Traore while captain Lars Stindl is a doubt. That means Alassane Plea will continue to lead the attack alongside Marcus Thuram.
Laszlo Benes has become a first-team option for Gladbach this season due to the injury issues plaguing the squad. He will likely start at the expense of Breel Embolo in the number ten slot. It will be an excellent opportunity for the Slovakian to make an impression.
The midfield will remain unchanged with Christoph Kramer occupying the holding midfield role. The German will be supported by the duo of Denis Zakaria and Florian Neuhaus in a slightly advanced role. It is mainly due to the fact that the two other options in Rose’s armoury in Hofmann and Strobl are both injured.
Moving to defence, Oscar will surely be given a breather. The experienced left-back will make way for new signing Ramy Bensebaini while Stefan Lainer will retain his place on the opposite flank. The central defensive combination will remain the same with Matthias Ginter starting alongside Nico Elvedi.
Probable Lineup (4-3-1-2): Sommer; Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini; Zakaria, Kramer, Neuhaus; Benes; Plea, Thuram
- This will be the first competitive meeting between the two sides.
- Gladbach were beaten 4-0 by Wolfsberg on MD1; their heaviest defeat in the UEFA Cup/Europa League since December 1985.
- Including qualifiers, Istanbul Basaksehir have failed to score in each of their last five games in European competitions, conceding eight goals since they last found the net themselves.
- Borussia Monchengladbach have only lost one of their last six away games in the Europa League.
- Basaksehir allowed 11 shots on target against Roma on MD1; the most of any team in the opening round of Europa League group stage games in 2019-20.
Player to Watch
With Embolo likely to start on the bench, the onus will be on Plea to provide the spark going forward for Borussia Monchengladbach this week. The former Nice striker has started the season on a positive note, scoring three goals – more than any other player in the club.
He has also registered two assists, and it will be interesting to see if he can continue his fiery form in front of goal against a Basaksehir side that often looks susceptible in defence. Aside from that, the Frenchman will play a key role in the first line of press along with Thuram. They will look to put pressure on two of Basaksehir’s centre-halves, creating turnovers in the final third.
Istanbul Basaksehir 1-1 Borussia Monchengladbach
Injuries to key players coupled with the lack of stability and consistency mean Borussia Monchengladbach are unlikely to seal all three points in this fixture. Not to mention, they are playing away from home, which often becomes a key factor in a European fixture even if the Foals have already won three away games this season. We expect both the sides to share the spoils.