Borussia Mönchengladbach and VfB Stuttgart are in Europa League action on Thursday evening, against leading Turkish outfit Fenerbahce and Norway's Molde FK respectively (kick-off 21:05 CET).

The Foals are in serious need of a pick-me-up after Saturday's drubbing at Borussia Dortmund, but Stuttgart head north full of confidence following their maiden win of the campaign against 1. FC Nuremberg.

Borussia Mönchengladbach - Fenerbahce

One win for the season is a miserly return for a Borussia Mönchengladbach side that last term finished fourth in the Bundesliga. Lucien Favre's side have not been playing all that badly, but it is quite telling that they have accrued just two points from their last three outings despite registering 63 efforts on goal.

The Foals seem to have picked up the unfortunate knack of playing reasonably well without nailing a result, although the 5-0 defeat at the Signal Iduna Park was a different kettle of fish altogether. "We deserved to lose against Dortmund [...] we have to perform for the entire 90 minutes, not just the first 20," Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka acknowledged.


Like Gladbach, Fenerbahce only managed a draw in their opening group game against Marseille and will be hoping the Europa League provides a platform for improvement after a similarly barren run of one win in their last six matches.

The record books do not bode well, though, with the Istanbul side having lost all four competitive outings to date on German soil. Mönchengladbach will be aiming to ensure that run continues as they themselves chase their first home win in Europe for 16 years.

Molde FK - VfB Stuttgart

Having finally got three points under their belts with a well-deserved 2-0 win in Nuremberg on Matchday 6, Stuttgart return to familiar territory at Molde, whom they also met in the third qualifying round of this competition in 2010/11, nicking a 5-4 aggregate win.

Bruno Labbadia will be hoping for a more comfortable margin this time around, although neither side has looked exactly watertight so far this season. Stuttgart registered only their second clean sheet of the season against Nuremberg, while Molde, though top of the table in Norway, conceded three en route to a 4-3 win over Stabaek last time out.

Away day woe

Former Eintracht Frankfurt and Norway international striker Jan Aage Fjortoft knows his native Tippeligaen inside-out, and has warned of a difficult test for Stuttgart against a side who are "always good for a goal". Hardly surprising, perhaps, given the once prolific scoring exploits of coach Ole Gunnar Solskjær.

Molde tasted defeat against FC Copenhagen in their Group E opener, while Stuttgart battled back from the brink to secure a point against Steaua Bucharest in what looks like developing into a keenly-contested foursome. Three points at Molde would put VfB well on the way to making it five group stage quaifications out of five in the Europa League and its predecessor, the UEFA Cup.

Christopher Mayer-Lodge