Marcus Thuran (3rd.l) and his Borussia Mönchengladbach band of brothers have more than enough quality to down Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League. - © imago
Marcus Thuran (3rd.l) and his Borussia Mönchengladbach band of brothers have more than enough quality to down Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League. - © imago

5 reasons Borussia Mönchengladbach will beat Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League

Borussia Mönchengladbach can count on more than Marcus Thuram for goals when they take on Inter Milan on Tuesday, knowing a win will send them into the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds for the first time (kick-off: 8pm GMT).

> Click here for Gladbach-Inter team news! posits five reasons why the Foals can seal the deal with a game to spare...

1) Taker-maker Thuram

Thuram is Gladbach's top scorer so far this season with four goals in all competitions. The France international was on target in the 4-1 win over Schalke at the weekend, and scored twice as Borussia went agonisingly close to downing Real Madrid on Champions League Matchday 2.

He's already well on his way to surpassing his debut-season tally of 14 goals in Gladbach colours, and continues to prove himself an equally invaluable maker of chances.

Thuram, who chipped in with nine assists last term, has four for the current campaign, including three in four matches in the Champions League - the first of which fell at Inter's San Siro.

Watch: All of Marcus Thuram's Bundesliga goals and assists in 2019/20

2) Shapers of their own destiny

With Thuram pulling the strings, Gladbach were desperately unlucky not to have escaped Italy's fashion capital with all three points.

Returning to the Champions League group stage for the first time in four years, Marco Rose's men hit back from a Romelu Lukaku goal down to lead through Ramy Bensebaini and Jonas Hofmann, only for Inter's principal goal threat to level in the 90th minute.

A very late show from Real produced the same result, but Gladbach have stuck to their guns, earning back-to-back wins over Shakhtar Donetsk by an aggregate score of 10-0.

Top of the section on eight points, the Foals will progress if they avoid defeat to Inter, and match or better Shakhtar's result against Real.

Cellar dwellers Inter have to win - something they have only done five out of 20 times in meetings with German opposition - to have any chance of progressing.

Gladbach are seventh in the Bundesliga, but flying high above Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk and Inter in Champions League Group B. - Lars Baron/Getty Images

3) Shared goals, same objective

Gladbach's free-scoring streak is a big reason why they find themselves on the cusp of escaping the fabled 'group of death' with all their vital signs intact.

The Foals have hit 14 goals across their four Group B assignments to date, with only holders Bayern Munich scoring more (15).

Alassane Plea heads the club charts with three, followed by Thuram and captain Lars Stindl on two.

Left-backs Bensebaini and Oscar Wendt, defender Nico Elvedi, waylaid midfielder Hofmann and striker Breel Embolo have also put their names up in lights for a Gladbach team that has netted more after four matches than in their previous two group stage campaigns combined.

Inter, by contrast, rely almost exclusively on the output of Lukaku and Lauro Martinez, who together have accounted for 15 of the team's 25 goals in all competitions in 2020/21.

4) Superior head-to-head record

Gladbach have history as well as goals on their side. The Foals have lost only one of five meetings with Inter (W1, D3), and they are unbeaten in their last four games against the Italians, including a 3-2 win in the 1979/80 UEFA Cup round of 32 second leg on their last trip to the San Siro.

Not only have they shone against the Nerazzurri down the years, but the Foals boast an admirable record against other Italian clubs, beating Roma and holding Juventus to a draw in recent years. Their overall record reads: W6, D9 and L4, while they have only lost one of their last seven meetings with teams from il bel paese.

5) Dortmund blueprint

Failing to win 12 of their last 14 competition fixtures, Inter's Champions League struggles - particularly against German opposition (D5 L10) - were laid bare at Borussia Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park in last season's groups.

Antonio Conte's side led 2-0 after 4-0 minutes, but conceded three second-half goals as the vaunted Catenaccio defensive system made famous by Italian clubs was picked apart.

The 3-2 defeat ultimately cost Inter a place in the last 16, whilst extending their winless run to five on German soil (D1, L4).

Against a Gladbach team drilled to attack, expect that barren run to continue...