Mönchengladbach - Matchday 6 begins with a clash between two of Germany’s best-known Traditionsvereine, as Borussia Mönchengladbach host Eintracht Braunschweig at Borussia Park on Friday evening (kick-off 20-30 CET).
Favre’s food for thought
Gladbach are looking to bounce back from last week’s poor showing and 2-1 defeat away at 1899 Hoffenheim, but will be up against a Braunschweig chomping at the bit after they gained their first top-flight point in 28 years after a 1-1 draw with 1. FC Nürnberg.
The home side boast a formidable front four with Max Kruse and Raffael joining wing-players Patrick Herrmann and Juan Arango, but they have nevertheless flattered to deceive at times. At home, a 100 per cent record has kept the fans happy, but on the road three losses tell a different story. Victory will be expected against a Braunschweig team currently propping up the Bundesliga table, but Borussia's early season inconsistency will be a concern.
Lucien Favre reflected on the defeat to Hoffenheim in his pre-match press conference, admitting that he may make changes to his team. “I’ve watched the game again and the substitutes added something to our game, there’s no question of that.” The biggest impact was made by Swedish striker Branimir Hrgota, who scored the team's consolation effort, but Amin Younes also played his part from the bench.
Lieberknecht: “The players believe”
Braunschweig have found life difficult in their first Bundesliga campaign since 1984/85, and last weekend’s equaliser against Nürnberg was only their second goal in five games. However, what they will not lack is self-belief after a heroic display against the Bavarian club, at the end of which they might easily have been celebrating a win.
“It was a well-deserved point for us. Our performance was a good sign that the team is alive and the players believe in themselves,” said head coach Torsten Lieberknecht. “We’re doing the basics better."
Omens good for Foals
Both of these clubs are former winners of the Bundesliga title, with Braunschweig lifting the trophy in 1967 and Gladbach winning the last of their four titles a decade later. Yet however much belief the visitors may have, it will not be lost on them that they have a worse record against Mönchengladbach than against any other current Bundesliga side, having won just six and lost 18 of 36 top-flight encounters.
Neither will they care to be reminded of what transpired the last time they faced Gladbach in the Bundesliga. In this identical fixture, on 11 October 1984, the Lions were embarrassed 10-0 at the Foals’ old Bökelbergstadion, and suffered the added ignominy of a 4-0 defeat at home the following March. In view of those statistics, the unfancied Lower Saxons might be hoping for a first clean sheet of the season first and foremost.
Gladbach: ter Stegen - Jantschke, Stranzl, Dominguez, Wendt - Xhaka, Nordtveit - Herrmann, Raffael, Kruse - Hrgota
Braunschweig: Petkovic - Kessel, Bikakcic, Dogan, Reichel - Theuerkauf, Kratz - Elabdellaoui, Kruppke, Bellarabi - Kumbela