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BORUSSIA MÖNCHENGLADBACH FACT FILE

Following the goalless draw at home against Hannover at the weekend the Boys in Brown 96 are taking advantage of the international break to play a friendly at Bundesliga outfit Borussia Mönchengladbach this Friday (kick-off: 1600 CET). To bring you up to speed for the game, here are some facts on our forthcoming opponents.

All change at the helm

Quite a lot has happened at Borussia Mönchengladbach since the winter break. Head coach André Schubert was unable to maintain his early promise and lost his job after a 2-1 defeat by struggling VfL Wolfsburg in mid-December that saw them slip to the 14th in the table. He was replaced by Dieter Hecking, who has overseen an improvement in form since a modest 0-0 draw against Darmstadt in his opening game. Gladbach have won five out of eight since then to climb to tenth spot in the Bundesliga rankings.

Injury woes

Hecking has several injury problems to contend with after the 2-2 draw against Schalke 04 in the Europa League. Midfielder Fabian Johnson sustained a muscle strain in that fixture, Germany international Christoph Kramer is hampered by a slight knee ligament tear, and it remains to be seen when Lars Stindl (muscle problems) and Ibrahima Traoré (rehab) will be ready to return. Almost always being without at least one of their 36-goal trio of Stindl, Thorgan Hazard and Raffael has been especially painful for Borussia. Under Hecking, the three of them have played together for just 248 competitive minutes out of a total of 1,350, the last time in early February.

Europa League

After finishing third in the Champions League group stage behind Barcelona and Manchester City the Foals entered the Europa League knockout phase, where their opening opponents were Serie A outfit Fiorentina. Borussia suffered a 1-0 home defeat in the first leg but recovered well to win the second leg 4-2 and progress to the next round and a meeting with Bundesliga rivals Schalke 04. The first leg in Gelsenkirchen ended in a 1-1 draw to set up an exciting return at the Borussia Park. Two-nil to the good at the break, Gladbach looked good bets to go through but the Royal Blues came back to draw 2-2 and boot their rivals out of the competition.

Familiar opposition

There have been 23 meetings between the two sides to date. Borussia have emerged victorious on 12 occasions and seven games have ended all square, while the Boys in Brown have won just four. Gladbach have provided the opposition in two other friendlies in the recent past. The two sides played out a goalless draw in Mönchengladbach in March 2015 and drew another blank when they met over 60 minutes in a pre-season tournament in Osnabrück last year, with Borussia eventually wining 5-4 on penalties. The last competitive fixture came in between those two encounters in August 2015 when the Boys in Brown succumbed 4-1 at the Millerntor in the first round of the DFB Cup.

Internationals

Players from both sides will miss Friday's game due to international duty. Aziz Bouhaddouz (Morocco), Mats Møller Dæhli (Norway) and Svend Brodersen (Germany Under-20s) are unavailable for the Boys in Brown, while Gladbach will be without their Danish pairing of Andreas Christensen and Jannik Vestergaard. Yann Sommer, Nico Elvedi and Josip Drmic are away with Switzerland, Mahmoud Dahoud is in the Germany Under-21 squad and Laszlo Bénes will hook up with Slovakia's Under-21s. Sweden left-back Oskar Wendt will be available, however, after announcing his retirement from international football last weekend.

 

Photo: Witters

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