Markus Gisdol on...
My colleague's hard work is paying off this season. Lucien Favre's team have matured a lot and they are a top side in this year's Bundesliga campaign. I haven't noticed Borussia drop their form for quite a while now. The club have experienced some rough times in the past, but they've always remained calm and trusted in Favre and the development of the team. You can see now where this has led. If I could, I would deploy 11 strikers and 11 defenders against them. It's going to be a very tough game on Sunday.
There are always minor injuries to deal with following a midweek game. Ermin Bicakcic, for example, felt a twinge in his thigh during the game against FSV Frankfurt and Kevin Volland had problems with his calf. Our medical department will do their best to get those players fit for the Gladbach match. Sunday is still a few days away, so I can't make any more predictions at the moment.
Jens Grahl has suffered whiplash after colliding heavily with his teammate on Wednesday evening. It could have been a lot worse. Unfortunately it's not possible at this time to predict how long his recovery will take.
... the current situation at TSG:
Things are going well, there's no denying that. Our aim is to approach the games one at a time and produce good performances, which we have been able to do in recent weeks. However, we are not yet on the same level as Gladbach. We, both the players and the coaching staff, try to think day by day without straying from our path. There aren't any reasons to do so anyway. I'm glad to see my players remain unaffected by the media hype that's currently going on. They're not distracted, even when referred to as supposed Bayern pursuers.
Bundesliga promotion in the same season: Matchday 2 of the 2007/08 2. Bundesliga campaign and Gladbach and newly-promoted Hoffenheim meet each other for the first time in the club's histories – the game ended in a 0-0 draw after careful approaches from both teams. At the end of the season both sides celebrated promotion in the top-two spots. Since then, they have established themselves as regular Bundesliga teams. The head-to-head record is in Hoffenheim's favour, having lost just two of their 15 competitive games against the Foals (eight wins, five draws).
Gladbach are level on points with TSG and also still unbeaten. Lucien Favre's men held table toppers FC Bayern to a goalless draw last weekend, justifying their second place in the standings. The Foals are unbeaten in their last 16 competitive games and are set to equal a club record from 1970, when Hennes Weisweiler's Gladbach side went 17 games without a defeat.
A very confident Gladbach side await Hoffenheim. A key trademark for them this season has been their stability, particularly in defence. They have kept a clean sheet in every other game and have conceded just four Bundesliga goals this season, two of which have been penalties. Lucien Favre's team have a unique togetherness and over the past few weeks they have managed to continuously improve and collect points. Max Kruse is one of their key players and has had a hand in the most goals in the Bundesliga, scoring five himself and providing two assists.