Thorgan Hazard (l.) could start in attack alongside Raffael in Berne. - © © gettyimages / Griffiths
Thorgan Hazard (l.) could start in attack alongside Raffael in Berne. - © © gettyimages / Griffiths

Gladbach kick off Champions League campaign at Young Boys

Borussia Mönchengladbach will hope to put themselves in a strong position to reach the group stages of the UEFA Champions League for a second successive season when they travel to BSC Young Boys for Tuesday’s play-off first leg (kick-off 20:45 CEST/18:45 GMT).

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The Foals finished bottom of a group containing Juventus, Manchester City FC and Sevilla FC last term, losing all three away games in the process. Andre Schubert’s charges will travel to Bern in confident mood, however, having put three past the Swiss Super League outfit in a 3-3 friendly draw just last month. A similar result on Tuesday would leave Borussia in pole position to qualify for the first round proper of Europe’s premier club competition.

"It's a huge challenge to start with, but we know what to expect and we're looking forward to it." said head coach Schubert. "It's going to be tough. Of course when you are a Bundesliga club in the Champions League, you are going to be favourites. The Bundesliga has a good reputation in Europe, but then Shakhtar Donetsk were favourites to beat Young Boys [in the last round]."

"Young Boys will be a tough nut to crack," said Gladbach’s Switzerland international keeper Yann Sommer, who has been passed fit for the match at the Stade de Suisse after recovering from an ankle knock picked up in Saturday’s pre-season friendly with SS Lazio. "There is a lot riding on this game so we have to take it very seriously. Berne is always a difficult place to go, but our aim is clear: We want to reach the group stages."

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- © gettyimages / Laurence Griffiths
- © gettyimages / Dennis Grombkowski