With two legs of our Europa League last-16 tie against Juventus sandwiched between three Bundesliga fixtures, it’s sure to be a jam-packed but exciting March. Before SC make the highly-anticipated journey to Turin during the week though, a league meeting with the Foals is on the agenda. For Christian Streich and his team, Thursday is still a long way from their minds: “The priority as always is the next game against Gladbach. We haven’t got one eye on Juventus – there’s enough of a gap between the two matches.”
Borussia will be looking to right two wrongs on the weekend. Not only are Daniel Farke’s side coming off the back of a painful 4-0 defeat in Mainz last time out, but they will also be hoping to get revenge for the 6-0 drubbing handed out by SC in their last trip to Borussia-Park. The Breisgauer had torn Gladbach to pieces inside 37 minutes on matchday 21 last season, recording their first three points in Mönchengladbach since 1995 and the biggest Bundesliga victory in the club’s history. “It’s good to finally have that win there under our belts. I’ve still never headed to Mönchengladbach with a bad feeling though. Even before the 6-0 win, we often had really good and closely fought encounters,” explained Streich.
The reverse fixture earlier this season was arguably too closely fought, although the 0-0 scoreline belied events on the pitch. “Normally a game like that would end 2-2,” remembered the Bundesliga’s longest-serving coach. “We gained the upper hand more in the second half and could easily have ended up snatching the win at the end.”
Streich was then asked what he expects from the opposition this time around: “Gladbach play courageous, attacking football and have a lot of movement. They have a well-balanced and technically-gifted side with a good amount of pace. We can’t allow ourselves to get caught out at the back and will need a decent structure. We need to make our presence felt, just like in Bochum. It will be important to be robust again, to get stuck in and for everyone to embrace their role and fulfil it 100 percent.”
There aren’t really any personnel issues for the coach to worry about ahead of the game. Captain Christian Günter is available again at left-back after serving his yellow-card suspension, although the boss was keen to praise Lukas Kübler, who had deputised on the weekend: “Kübi played really well and won a lot of challenges. That pivotal for us against Leverkusen.” Ritsu Doan is also an option again for Saturday, having had to come off last week due to illness.
Unlike the last away match at Borussia, which was played in front of empty stands due to the pandemic, the team can look forward to loud support from the 2,000 plus travelling SC fans