Next match: Gladbach on the up

Michael Frontzeck has every reason to smile at the moment. His Borussia Mönchengladbach side are well on their way to a top-half finish this term - their best achievement in years.

"We're only looking as far as the Hoffenheim game at the moment, then we'll move onto the Freiburg match. Making any assumptions in football is silly because things always turn out differently to how you expect," explained the 47-year-old. Frontzeck's troops have battled their way into a comfortable position in the table, playing attractive counter-attacking football that has had some observers comparing them to the Gladbach dream team of the 1980s under Hennes Weisweiler. Perhaps the only thing lacking from their game in recent months has been goals. Centre-backs Dante and Brouwers have scored just as many goals (7) as the front line of Friend, Bobadilla, Colautti and Matmour. Nonetheless, calls from journalists for Frontzeck to employ Brouwers in a more advanced role were quickly scotched by the Dutch defender: "Certainly not. The goals will come for the lads up front." Indeed, both Colautti and Friend found the target in the 2-1 victory over 1. FC Nürnberg last weekend and after a distinctly tame display the week before against 1. FSV Mainz 05, the Borussia attack appeared to have finally drawn luck on their side: Matmour's barely-legal challenge on Nürnberg goalkeeper Schäfer allowed Friend to tuck the ball over the line within 22 seconds of coming on. "It wasn't the best goal I've ever scored, but it was certainly the quickest!," said Friend.

As for this Friday night's match against Hoffenheim, Frontzeck is keen to focus on the present as opposed to the past. No surprise when you consider that Gladbach are yet to pick up a win over 1899 in five previous clashes in the top two divisions: "A quick look at the statistics confirms that we've got a difficult task ahead," said the former Manchester City defender. "I watched them in the game against Bochum and in terms of individual quality they have a fantastic squad, even if things haven't quite been going as they may have hoped this season." Friday will be Gladbach's first-ever visit to the Rhein-Neckar-Arena, as last season's corresponding fixture was played at the Carl-Benz-Stadion in Mannheim. Hoffenheim won that match 1-0, and they would no doubt be delighted with a similar performance this time around.

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