JULIAN NAGELSMANN on...
... the opponent:
I’ve often said that Gladbach are on of the teams in the Bundesliga that I really enjoy watching because they play very good football. They have some very good players. They always have pace on the wings, irrelevant of who plays. They’re a good team and like to play good football. They’ve developed really well under Dieter Hecking and they’ve looked good in the second half of the season.
... the squad:
Pavel Kaderabek has still got problems with his lower back. He still hasn’t trained with the team. He might be able to join in on Thursday afternoon. Other than that everybody is fit. Sandro Wagner and Kerem Demirbay are back training again and Jeremy Toljan has recovered after missing the match in Hamburg. He’s looking sharp.
... the sporting situation I:
We looked to be a little fatigued in the game against Hamburg after running a lot in the two previous games against Hertha and Bayern. Then we sustained a few injuries and we didn’t have enough energy to overcome a pressing opponent. Hamburg were good and aggressive and they deserved to win. We’re a team which likes to play football and we were disrupted by lots of fouls In Hamburg and we lost our rhythm...
… the sporting situation II:
Against Gladbach is will be about not allowing them to play combinations. They’re very compact and then they attack quickly so we need to press them high up the pitch and defend with purpose. In attack, we’ll need to make use of the little space that they’ll offer us.
... the sporting situation III:
I’ll speak to the players about what happened this week in Dortmund because I don’t want to emphasise the negatives. If a player wants to discuss that with me then my door is always open. Dortmund are our rivals in terms of the table, but I hope they can remain positive and get through this.
There have been 17 previous meetings in the Bundesliga and TSG just have the edge over Gladbach with six wins to five, with six draws. TSG have had the upper hand at home with four victories. There have been three draws in Hoffenheim with Gladbach recording just one win there.
When Dieter Hecking took charge of Borussia in December, the club sat 14th in the table and only had 16 points to their name. However, since the turn of the year, Gladbach’s points tally can only be bettered by Bayern after winning 22 points in the second half of the season, rising to 8th place in the Bundesliga. Hertha in 5th only have four more points than Gladbach, who were victorious in their last match in the derby against Köln, winning 3-2.
The key battle:
This will be a game between two teams who like to have the ball. Both have had a lot of ball possession this season and have made a lot of passes. Therefore, it will come down to which team can impose them self on the other, who can stop the other playing, who can win the fifty-fifties and who can control possession.