Ahead of the Gladbach game: “I see a chance to pick up three points”

At 15:30 CET on Sunday, September 15th, TSG host Borussia Mönchengladbach in the WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar Arena. The visitors are a tricky team, as Markus Gisdol revealed in his press conference on Friday: “Gladbach are a top-six side for me.” At the same time though, the Hoffenheim manager did say: “I see a chance to pick up three points if we put in an excellent performance.”

The record between the two sides is in Hoffenheim's favour, with TSG having won three and drawn two of the last five, home Bundesliga games against Gladbach. The most important thing is not to lose their cool on the pitch, something Gisdol mentioned in his press conference. “We can't be caught on the break, and we mustn't make any mistakes. If we do, they will be brutally punished by Gladbach.“

In terms of squad selection, Gisdol has no problems, aside from Sejad Salihovic (suspended) and Roberto Firmino (left ankle) who are both unavailable for Sunday. “A few players, like Fabian Johnson, have had long journeys returning from the international week and are a little tired. They will be available on Sunday though,” said Gisdol.

Overall analysis

In preparation for the Gladbach game, memories of the defeat in Stuttgart return. “We started the recovery process straight after the game because so many players were leaving to represent their countries,” said Gisdol. “We made the most of the break and had a look at an overall analysis of all of our games so far this season. One bad game shouldn't outshine the positive overall outlook.“

Gisdol's side have enjoyed themselves in the first few games of the season and have played with vigour, perhaps with too much confidence at times. As part of the development in the future, a greater balance between attack and defence is key. A 1-0 or a 0-0 wouldn't be a bad result.

“Gladbach have a good squad”

Koen Casteels wouldn't mind a result like that. “I've moved on from the game in Stuttgart,” said the goalkeeper. After his journey with the Belgian national team, his concentration and attention return to his tasks at Hoffenheim.

A chance for Belgium to qualify for the 2014 World Cup will come in October before the next set of international games. Gisdol has praised his goalkeeper: “Koen has come far for his age. He has a good command of his area and creates play well too. To play consistently over a longer period of time at this level will be his next challenge.”

The visit of Gladbach represents another challenge. After Hoffenheim (12 goals), Gladbach have the best attack in the league (10 goals). “Gladbach have a good squad. Max Eberl and Lucien Favre are doing a great job there. The progression since their survival two years ago is very positive. They are a bit of an example for us,“ said Gisdol.

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