The Foals were eliminated from Europe despite another strong performance against Sevilla FC on Thursday night, leaving them with a top-four finish in the Bundesliga to aim for. Guests Paderborn are playing for the right to visit Borussia-Park again next season. bundesliga.com takes a closer look…
With only the Bundesliga and DFB Cup left to play for this season, the Foals will be focusing all of their efforts on clinching a top-four finish to allow them to move up a competition in Europe next season and appear in the Champions League. Paderborn, on the other hand, have slipped towards relegation danger and need the points to keep their survival dreams alive.
Thursday's Europa League exertions are bound to have left a mark on some of Gladbach's players, which is why coach Lucien Favre is likely to rotate his team somewhat. Given the amount of games he has played lately, Patrick Herrmann (r.) is a prime candidate for a break with Max Kruse also set to sit on the bench with Ibrahima Traore and Branimir Hrgota starting.
With Florian Hartherz (l.) suspended and Rafa Lopez out with a muscular injury, Paderborn coach Andre Breitenreiter has to make changes to his defence. Christian Strohdiek and Daniel Brückner are likely to start in a reshuffled back four with the rest of the side remaining unchanged.
Andre Hahn (r.) is available again after injury and, with Germany coach Joachim Löw's next squad announcement on the horizon, he has a point to prove. The agile, powerful and potent winger scored 12 for former club FC Augsburg and, with only three so far for Gladbach, has some catching up to do now back to full strength.
With the goals drying up lately for Paderborn, Alban Meha has come to the fore not only as a midfielder who can score goals himself (three this season), but as a link between the lines. Paderborn are looking more and more to the experienced Albanian, and he is rising to the occasion.
Alvaro Dominguez (Gladbach defender, r.): "We can now focus on the Bundesliga. We want to defend our qualifying berth for the Champions League."
Andre Breiitenreiter (Paderborn coach): "I got the impression in training this week that all of the lads want to be involved."
Gladbach have been struggling for consistency in 2015, picking up three 1-0 wins, but losing by the same scoreline to Schalke and Sevilla before a draw with Hamburg last weekend. Paderborn come into the game off the back of a 6-0 humbling at the hands of FC Bayern München, although their last away game was a 2-1 success at Hannover 96.
The two sides first met in the Bundesliga in the reverse fixture, a game which Gladbach won 2-1, although they have met before in Bundesliga 2 with the Foals ahead in those stakes with a draw at home and a win in Paderborn.
Gladbach: Sommer - Korb, Stranzl, Jantschke, Dominguez - Kramer, Xhaka - Hahn, Traoré - Raffael, Hrgota
Paderborn: Kruse - Strohdiek, Ziegler, Hünemeier, Brückner - Rupp - Koc, Bakalorz, Vrancic, Meha - Kachunga