Marco Rose looks to prove himself against his future club as Borussia Monchengladbach take on Borussia Dortmund in the DFB Pokal quarterfinal.

Borussia Monchengladbach’s promising start to 2021 was derailed by an unprecedented announcement from their coach Marco Rose when he revealed his move to Borussia Dortmund in the summer. It was proceeded with a series of internals problems and turmoil, leaving a host of players and fans unhappy.

Gladbach’s internal problems have been reflected in their results as well, with the Foals yet to win any of their last five matches in all competitions. On Tuesday, however, the players will have an ideal opportunity to play for not the coach but for themselves and the fans as Gladbach take on Borussia Dortmund, in the quarterfinal of the DFB Pokal.

It will be an awkward affair for Marco Rose, whose priorities will certainly be a point of discussion heading into this game. For his counterpart in Edin Terzic, however, it will be a chance further right the wrong after a disappointing start to his temporary spell in charge of the Black and Yellows.

Indeed, Dortmund have looked in excellent touch recently, securing three back-to-back wins in all competitions. This little run of fixtures has helped climb to fifth in the league table, but the priority for the club this season will be to secure the DFB Pokal, especially with Bayern Munich being knocked out of the cup earlier in the campaign.

Overall, it promises to be a nervy and perhaps even a heated encounter as Gladbach essentially play for and against their head coach, taking on a Dortmund side that are keen on taking advantage of Bayern’s early slip-up. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over these two sides ahead of this key encounter at Borussia Park on Tuesday.

Team News & Tactics

Borussia Monchengladbach

Marco Rose had diverted from his usual 4-3-1-2 setup to employ a rather awkward three at the back when these two teams last faced each other. The move worked wonders as well as the Foals secured a historic 4-2 victory that ended their awful record against the Black and Yellows.

And while one could expect Rose to adopt a similar approach, a lot has indeed changed in the BVB camp, who are now thriving in terms of chance-creation thanks to the additional ball-carrier in midfield. So we can expect the hosts to deploy at least three men in midfield, with Denis Zakaria pretty much a guaranteed starter.

The Swiss ball-winner is set to play an essential role in Gladbach’s second line of press, alongside Christoph Kramer and Florian Neuhaus, who provides the grace to the grit of his midfield partners.

Kramer, though, remains doubtful on Tuesday, along with former Dortmund man Jonas Hofmann, so it won’t be surprising to see Gladbach going for a traditional 4-2-3-1 with Zakaria and Neuhaus in the double-pivot. Lars Stindl remains an automatic pick in the number ten role, as he captains the side with his work-ethic and aggression.

The German international should also be a key outlet in Gladbach’s chance-creation, alongside Hannes Wolf and Marcus Thuram while the Foals attack should be led by Breel Embolo.

Meanwhile, in the defensive unit, Ramy Bensebaini remains a doubt, which could bring Oscar Wendt back into the picture. It will be interesting to see how the ageing Swede deals with the threat of Jadon Sancho while his defensive partners in Matthias Ginter, Nico Elvedi and Stefan Lainer aren’t expecting an easy challenge either.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Sippel; Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Wendt; Zakaria, Neuhaus; Herrmann, Stindl, Thuram; Embolo


Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund coach Edin Terzic surprisingly lined up a strong eleven against Arminia Bielefeld on the weekend. In addition, he was boosted by the return of Thorgan Hazard and Dan-Axel Zagadou from injury. The latter is unlikely to start on Tuesday, though, as Terzic continues to persist with the central defensive combination of Emre Can and Mats Hummels.

Mateu Morey also has done well for himself in recent games, although Terzic may just prefer the experience of Thomas Meunier at right-back. Raphael Guerreiro, though, remains a shoo-in on the opposite flank while Marwin Hitz should also start in goal following reports suggesting the axing of Roman Burki as the first-choice ‘keeper.

Terzic’s switch to a hybrid 4-3-3, as mentioned earlier, has given them a slight edge in terms of chance-creation. Thomas Delaney, though, remains a doubt once again, so Mahmoud Dahoud could continue in the holding midfield role.

It essentially means Jude Bellingham and Marco Reus may operate in the number eight/ten hybrid – acting as the primary ball-carriers.

Moving further forward, Thorgan Hazard is a major favourite to get the nod ahead of Giovanni Reyna and Julian Brandt in the wide attacking position. His penetration and direct style of play could be useful against a depleted Gladbach defence, especially alongside the in-form duo of Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Hitz; Meunier, Can, Hummels, Guerreiro; Bellingham, Dahoud, Reus; Hazard, Haaland, Sancho


Key Stats

  • Patrick Herrmann is the joint second-highest scorer in this season’s competition with three goals in two games.
  • Gladbach are three-time DFB Cup winners and two-time runners-up. They are playing in the quarter-finals for the first time since 2016/17.
  • Erling Haaland has scored four goals in three competitive games against Gladbach. He’s netted two in three DFB Cup appearances.
  • Jude Bellingham is the DFB Cup’s youngest goalscorer, aged 17 years, two months and 16 days. Giovanni Reyna was a week older when he opened his Dortmund account in last season’s third round. Youssoufa Moukoko will be 16 years, three months and 10 days old at kick-off.
  • Borussia Dortmund won their fourth DFB Cup in 2017/18 but were knocked out in the last 16 in the following three seasons. They beat Gladbach 2-1 in the 2019/20 second round, before bowing out to Werder Bremen in the last 16.

Player to Watch

Mahmoud Dahoud

Mahmoud Dahoud has been quite the revelation for Borussia Dortmund in recent weeks. Initially brought in as a temporary replacement for the missing Thomas Delaney, the midfielder has appeared quite influential in the middle of the park. His ability to thread passes, provide assurance in possession and take on the opposing defenders have added some grace to Dortmund’s approach play.

On Tuesday, though, the German international will be dealt with a difficult contest against Denis Zakaria. But it is a game where Dahoud will be equally desperate to perform as he returns to Borussia Park – his former stomping ground. So it will be interesting to see how he fares in this crucial fixture.


Borussia Monchengladbach 1-3 Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Monchengladbach are never an easy opponent for any team. However, given their current situation, in the aftermath of Marco Rose’s announcement, the Foals have lacked sharpness, confidence and are terribly low on morale. Dortmund, in contrast, have looked quite strong, thus going into this game as the undisputed favourites. We are expecting a 3-1 win for Die Schwarzgelben.

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