Borussia Mönchengladbach face a serious test of their top-four credentials when they host high-flying RB Leipzig on Saturday (kick-off: 6.30pm CEST/5.30pm BST/12.30pm ET).
Gladbach got their push for a European place back on track with a 1-0 win at Hannover last weekend, but the victory came at a heavy cost. Captain Lars Stindl fractured his shin after just 30 seconds and is out for the rest of the season. Raffael, who replaced Stindl in Hannover and scored the only goal, is likely to be rewarded with a starting berth. Nico Elvedi (calf), Denis Zakaria (back) and Christoph Kramer (ankle) sat out training early in the week but Gladbach are hopeful that all three will be fit for Saturday.
Leipzig have now scored 12 goals in their last four league matches after beating Wolfsburg 2-0 at home last time out to edge closer to securing a UEFA Champions League place for next season. Ralf Rangnick’s men are clear in third, knowing that a fifth-win in succession would put 10 points between them and fifth-placed Gladbach. Tyler Adams, Yussuf Poulsen and Dayot Upamecano all trained individually early in the week as they near a return, while striker Jean-Kevin Augustin missed some sessions with an upset stomach. One player definitely available again is Willi Orban, and the captain could replace Nordi Mukiele at the back after serving a suspension.
Watch: See how Leipzig beat Wolfsburg on Matchday 29
- Gladbach took maximum points from their eight home games during the first half of the season, but have claimed five from a possible 15 since the turn of the year.
- Thorgan Hazard and Alassane Plea have scored 20 of Gladbach's 48 Bundesliga goals this season, albeit with only one - Plea's equaliser against Freiburg on Matchday 26 - coming in 2019.
- Raffael scored his second goal of the season on Matchday 29, but first since 9 December 2018.
- Leipzig are unbeaten in their five Bundesliga meetings with Gladbach to date.
- After going five Bundesliga matches without a goal, Timo Werner has scored four in his last five and is only one behind Poulsen in the scoring charts.
- Leipzig winter signing Adams remains unbeaten in his nine matches as a Bundesliga player (W6, D3).
Gladbach: Sommer (c) – Ginter, Strobl, Elvedi – Herrmann, Kramer, Zakaria, Hazard – Neuhaus – Raffael, Plea
Out: Stindl (shin), Traore (groin)
Doubtful: Lang (hip), Poulsen (ankle), Doucoure (thigh)
Coach: Dieter Hecking
Leipzig: Gulacsi – Klostermann, Konate, Orban (c), Halstenberg – Sabitzer, Kampl, Laimer – Forsberg – Poulsen, Werner
Doubtful: Adams (groin), Augustin (stomach bug), Mvogo (knee), Upamecano (knee)
Coach: Ralf Rangnick