Mönchengladbach - After coming so close to being the Bundesliga's fourth Champions League representative, Borussia Mönchengladbach now sit in a precarious position in UEFA Europa League Group C. The visit of AEL Limassol FC on Thursday (kick-off 21:05 CET) is a pivotal fixture in deciding their fate in the tournament.

Anything less than a win on Matchday 5 against the Cypriot champions could see the Foals facing an early exit from Europe altogether. On the other hand, three points could be enough to guarantee Gladbach a spot in the Round of 32 if Fenerbahce SK beat Olympique de Marseille.

All out for the win


Fate could have been a lot kinder to Gladbach had left-back Oscar Wendt not hit the aluminium with his 98th-minute penalty when these two sides played out an uninspiring goalless draw in September, but the hosts are determined to rectify their mistake this time around. "We're going all out for the win against Limassol," declared striker Mike Hanke. "There can be no thought of us losing. We're the clear favourites and our aim is to demonstrate that on Thursday."

Borussia have scored twice in each of their last three Europa League encounters and Hanke will be hoping he can help maintain that trend, while accepting it won't be easy against the disciplined Cypriots. "Limassol will defend very deep and wait for their chances on the break," stated the 29-year-old, who has only notched up two goals this season. "We need to be patient. In recent games we've shown we're capable of creating chances and converting them." Hanke's fellow frontman Luuk de Jong has returned to training but is still someway off making his comeback, leaving captain Filip Daems the only longer-term absentee.

Possible line-ups:

Gladbach: ter Stegen - Stranzl, Brouwers, Dominguez, Wendt - Marx, Nordtveit - Rupp, Arango - Herrmann - Hanke (de Camargo)

Limassol: Degra - Airosa, Dosa Junior, Parpas, Maykon - Dede, Nicolaou - Rui Miguel - Edmar, Vouho, Gilberto