Javier Hernandez scored a hat-trick the last time Bayer 04 Leverkusen met Borussia Mönchengladbach. - © © imago / Uwe Kraft
Javier Hernandez scored a hat-trick the last time Bayer 04 Leverkusen met Borussia Mönchengladbach. - © © imago / Uwe Kraft

The Guide: Gladbach vs Leverkusen

Expect seismic shock waves to ripple through the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia when Borussia Mönchengladbach host local rivals Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Saturday (kick-off 15:30CEST/13:30GMT).

Richter Scale at the ready, bundesliga.com takes a sneak peak at Matchday 33's Rhineland rumble...

Third meets fourth

Leverkusen may have already locked down a third-placed finish, but that does not mean they will be going easy on Gladbach at the weekend. An eighth successive Bundesliga win would represent a new club record for Die Werkself, who have not lost in over two months. Their stellar run of results has ensured they will join Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern München in the group stage of next season's UEFA Champions League, with fourth-in-the-table Gladbach leading the charge to clinch a spot in the play-offs.

Brandt burning bright

The catalyst for Bayer's sparkling spring form, young Julian Brandt, has been blazing a trail in recent weeks. The Bremen native, who turned 20 on Monday, has been on target in each of his last six matches and will equal Stefan Kießling's club record of scoring in seven consecutive games with a goal this weekend.

The Hernandez factor

Should Brandt's fire go out, Leverkusen can always count on the goals of leading scorer Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez. Gladbach experienced the Mexico international's penalty-box prowess first-hand in the reverse fixture as the pint-sized striker chalked up his maiden Bundesliga hat-trick in a resounding 5-0 success. His current tally stands at 17 in 27 Bundesliga appearances.


For Gladbach, Matchday 16's humbling was symptomatic of their well-documented travails on the road this term. You have to go all the way back to Matchday 11 for Borussia's last away win of the current Bundesliga campaign, but Bayer will not need reminding that the Foals have proved an altogether different animal at the BORUSSIA-PARK, where they taken 37 points from a possible 48 so far this season and won their last six.

Raffael optimistic

To help bring up a seventh straight home win and keep the chasing pack at bay, Gladbach will look to resident ace-in-the-hole Raffael. The Brazilian forward has scored 13 goals and weighed in with ten assists in 2015/16 and is confident of securing a second successive top-four finish: "It's been a crazy season, but it's in our own hands. I firmly believe we'll win our last two and qualify for the Champions League."