Mönchengladbach – Saturday’s late kick-off sees Borussia Mönchengladbach entertain Hannover 96 at Borussia Park (kick-off 18:30 CET).
Gladbach will be keen to kick-start their season, having lost 3-1 to FC Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena last Friday. Hannover, meanwhile, will be looking to build on the success of last weekend's 2-0 victory at home to VfL Wolfsburg.
Having played second fiddle to Pep Guardiola and Bayern last week, Gladbach’s season now starts in earnest, with plenty of positives to be taken from the match in Munich. The visitors showed plenty of attacking promise throughout the 90 minutes, creating several good chances against a defence that only conceded 18 Bundesliga goals last term.
Head coach Lucien Favre, though, has not yet decided whether to make any changes to the side that lost to the record champions. “I won’t make any decisions until I’ve spoken to the players who were away on international duty,” he said. “This is a different game compared to the one in Munich last week. Hannover are a very compact unit. It’s very difficult to find a gap through the middle.”
Looking to make life that bit tougher for Favre's men is Hannover new recruit Marcelo. The Brazilian defender, who joined from Dutch outfit PSV Eindhoven last week, says he is already enjoying life with his new club: “My first impressions of Hannover are great – my team-mates welcomed me with open arms! The first training session was a lot of fun and I could tell there are a lot of quality players here.”
Mirko Slomka's side didn’t have the best of times on the road last season, losing 12 of their 17 away games and winning just four. Despite their poor record on their travels, Slomka says his players are on a high following their winning start to the campaign: “It fills us with confidence and positivity going into the game with Gladbach. We have to go about our away games as if we were at home."
Apart from second-choice goalkeeper Christofer Heimeroth, who missed training on Tuesday and Wednesday with a cold, the Foals have no injury worries ahead of the game. Juan Arango, meanwhile, was only due to return from international duty with Venezuela on Friday. “I’ll have a word with him and then we’ll see if he can play on Saturday,” explained Favre.
Hannover's Christian Pander, however, will miss his side's trip to Mönchengladbach. The 29-year-old picked up an ankle injury against Wolfsburg last weekend and, though not serious, it rules him out of this weekend's game. Skipper Steven Cherundolo is yet to return to fitness after injuring his knee in pre-season, while Felipe and Ya Konan remain sidelined.
Mönchengladbach: ter Stegen – Jantschke, Stranzl, Dominguez, Daems – Kramer, Xhaka – Herrman, Raffael, Arango – Kruse
Hannover: Zieler – Sakai, Sané, Marcelo, Pocognoli – Andreasen, Stindle – Bittencourt, Prib, Huszti - Diouf