Borussia Monchengladbach will resume their Bundesliga campaign with a trip to the Commerzbank-Arena, where they face off against Eintracht Frankfurt.
After a two-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2019-20 Bundesliga returns on Saturday. Things will kick off in a spectacular fashion as Borussia Dortmund take on Schalke in the Revierderby. The day will wrap up with another exciting encounter as title hopefuls Borussia Monchengladbach take on Eintracht Frankfurt at the Commerzbank-Arena.
Eintracht were going through a poor run of form prior to football getting suspended. Adi Hutter’s side lost their previous three matches against Dortmund, Union Berlin and Bayer Leverkusen. They conceded ten goals in the three matches, while scoring just one.
Currently 12th in the table, they could still get dragged into the fight for the relegation playoff spot, given that they are just six points better off than 16th-placed Fortuna Dusseldorf. And the Eagles would be keen on avoiding such a scenario by kicking things off with a win this Saturday.
Gladbach, on the other hand, are sitting fourth in the Bundesliga table, just six points shy of leaders Bayern Munich. Having managed to top the table for a number of weeks earlier this season, Marco Rose’s men are pretty much the darkhorses in the race for the title and will want to pile on the pressure on their rivals with a victory this weekend.
Before suspension, Die Fohlen had lost just one of their last seven league fixtures (W4 D3), with their latest fixture ending in a 2-1 win over FC Koln. Having beaten Eintracht 4-2 in the reverse fixture, they will be confident of getting all three points from an empty Commerzbank-Arena on Saturday evening.
Ahead of the much-anticipated return of the Bundesliga, we at The Hard Tackle take a closer look at this encounter.
Team News & Tactics
The hosts will go into the game without the services of top goalscorer Goncalo Paciencia, which is set to come as a blow. Defender Marco Russ is also unavailable due to an injury he picked up during training. But, Hutter did confirm prior to the game that Sebastian Rode is fit and available, handing the team a boost.
Eintracht could take the field in a 4-2-3-1 formation that the manager used in the 2-0 win against Werder Bremen in the DFB-Pokal quarter-finals. Kevin Trapp should be the man in charge of protecting the home team’s goal. Almamy Toure and Evan N’Dicka ought to be the full-backs for Die Adler.
Martin Hinteregger and captain David Abraham are likely to pair up at the heart of the Eintracht defence. Interestingly enough, Hinteregger is the team’s second-highest goalscorer this season, highlighting their problems in the final third of the pitch, following the departures of Luka Jovic and Sebastien Haller.
January signing Stefan Ilsanker, who arrived from RB Leipzig, could continue in the midfield double pivot, alongside Djibril Sow. Although the manager has other options in veteran midfielder Makoto Hasebe, Dominic Kohr and the fit-again Rode.
Daichi Kamada is likely to slot in as the No. 10 for the Eagles. He will be flanked by right-back Timothy Chandler, who has seen a lot of success while being used in an advanced role and Filip Kostic, who has the highest number of assists for Eintracht. Leading the line for the home team in Paciencia’s absence should be Andre Silva, although Bas Dost is a solid alternative.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Trapp; Toure, Abraham, Hinteregger, N’Dicka; Sow, Ilsanker; Chandler, Kamada, Kostic; Silva
Denis Zakaria, who has been linked with Manchester United, is ruled out with a knee injury. This will come as a huge blow for Marco Rose, given that the Swiss midfielder has been one of Gladbach’s best players this season. Winger Fabian Johnson is another injury-enforced absentee for the Foals.
Moving on to the good news, Rose will be able to call upon Florian Neuhaus, who is back from suspension, while Tony Jantschke and Ramy Bensebaini have recovered from minor niggles to be available for the game. Gladbach will line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation as well, with seasoned campaigner Yann Sommer guarding the goal.
Matthias Ginter and Nico Elvedi will form the centre-back partnership for the visitors, while being flanked by Stefan Lainer and Bensebaini on the right and left sides, respectively.
With Zakaria ruled out, Christoph Kramer should partner Neuhaus in the middle of the park for the visiting team. Although Rose has other options with the likes of Laszlo Benes and Tobias Strobl, if he decides to switch things up.
The attacking third of the pitch will see seasoned forward Patrick Herrmann slotting in on the right flank, while star man Marcus Thuram should start on the left. Captain Lars Stindl will play off of main striker and leading goalscorer Alassane Plea, who also has been linked with Manchester United. Breel Embolo is another attacking weapon at the manager’s disposal.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Sommer; Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini; Kramer, Neuhaus; Herrmann, Stindl, Thuram; Plea
- Eintracht Frankfurt have collected a league-low seven points away from home this season. But they have accrued 21 points at home, taking 10 from a possible 12 in games against the Bundesliga’s current top four.
- Borussia Monchengladbach are unbeaten in their last three meetings with Eintracht (W2 D1).
- The Eagles collected 10 points from their first four league games in 2020, but have lost their last three heading into Saturday’s fixture.
- Gladbach captain Lars Stindl has scored five goals and assisted one more in his last four Bundesliga appearances.
- Eintracht have won an overall 34 fixtures against Gladbach. Only against Werder Bremen have they won more matches (35).
Player to Watch
The 27-year-old Frenchman has grown into a key player for the Foals since signing for the club in 2018. In the 2019-20 campaign, Plea has scored eight goals in 22 Bundesliga matches, while also chipping in with seven assists.
His sharp movement and link-up play in the final third, combined with his clinical finishing has made him a huge asset for Marco Rose’s side. If Gladbach are to push forward and pose a threat to the title challengers, the one-time capped French international’s form will be pivotal.
Eintracht Frankfurt 1-2 Borussia Monchengladbach
Eintracht Frankfurt have been a tough nut to crack at home, but with no crowd in the stadium, the atmosphere will be completely different. Goals have been a problem for Adi Hutter’s men and with Goncalo Paciencia unavailable, things are likely to get more difficult.
Borussia Monchengladbach have enjoyed the upper hand against their hosts in recent fixtures and already beat them convincingly earlier this term. Although Denis Zakaria will be a big miss, Marco Rose’s side have the tools to deal with his absence and should be able to resume their campaign on a winning note this weekend.