Gladbach vs Eintracht Frankfurt – Tuesday 19:45 BST/20:45 CET Borussia-Park – Mönchengladbach.
Much of the focus during this week will be on the DFB Pokal semi-final between Bayern München, and Borussia Dortmund. Der Klassiker overshadows everything else in German football. That said the second semi-final that will take place the day ahead of der Klassiker promises to be a real highlight as well.
Borussia Mönchengladbach will entertain Eintracht Frankfurt at the Borussia-Park. Eintracht Frankfurt (ninth), and Borussia Mönchengladbach (tenth) are currently neighbours in the Bundesliga standings, and both clubs are still on the hunt for one of the two Europa League spots in the Bundesliga.
But while the two clubs are neighbours in the table their respective seasons could not have been more different. Borussia Mönchengladbach had a slow start to the season, and up until the winter break were in the middle of the relegation battle. Then just before the winter break current head coach Dieter Hecking replaced André Schubert.
Under Hecking, Gladbach managed to stabilize the season and surge up the table. The Fowls were in a prime position for a Europa League spot before matchday 30, but a defeat to Borussia Dortmund on Saturday evening has slowed down their Europa League aspirations.
Eintracht Frankfurt in the meantime were in a prime spot to reach the Europa League, and were even a candidate for a Champions League spot. But an injury to Mexican star Marco Fabián, and the needless transfer of Szabolcs Huszti to China meant that the Eagles were missing depth in midfield. Eintracht only managed 12 points in 14 games in der Rückrunde.
Eintracht’s convincing 3-1 victory on the weekend against FC Augsburg, however, means that the Eagles are once again on track for a Europa League spot. The major reason for this has been the return of Marco Fabián, who seems to have overcome the hip injury he sustained before the winter break. Eintracht seem more unpredictable with their Mexican attacking midfielder in the starting eleven.
While both teams are hoping that they can reach the Europa League via the league, the DFB Pokal would provide a much faster, and more direct route. The winner of the cup gets a direct path to the Europa League group stage, and with the Bundesliga Europa League race having become a lottery; both teams will see the cup competition as a major chance to reach Europe.
Overall Gladbach’s second half of the season would suggest that the Fowls are favourites on Tuesday. But with Marco Fabián returning to form, and Frankfurt having regained their form from before the winter break do not be surprised if Eintracht, and not Gladbach will make it through to the final of the cup.
Gladbach vs Eintracht Frankfurt – Players to look out for:
Lars Stindl #13
With 17 goals and nine assists across Borussia’s 39 matches this season, Gladbach’s captain is a genuine threat to any opposition team—just ask Köln and Hoffenheim—with Stindl scoring back-to-back goals on Matchdays 28, 29, and 30 after having recently returned from injury. In addition to his goal scoring and creating ability, he brings strong leadership qualities to this determined Gladbach side. Die Fohlen will rely heavily on his ‘captain’s presence’ to keep in check an Eintracht Frankfurt side that has recently re-discovered its scoring touch.
Marco Fabián #10
Marco Fabián is Eintracht Frankfurt’s key player. The Mexican star has scored seven goals, and four assists in the Bundesliga for Eintracht, which makes him the club’s top scorer. In fact the Mexican is the key player in Eintracht Frankfurt’s head coach Niko Kovac’s system. With Fabián in the line-up Eintracht manage on average 1.55 points, whereas the point average drops to exactly one per game without him. Kovac explained after Frankfurt’s win against Augsburg, in which Fabián scored twice: “Marco leads this squad, both on and off the field. That is why he is one of the most important players on the squad.” Fabián in the meantime has made no secrets about his aspirations. “Now we are allowed to dream of Europe.”
Gladbach vs Eintracht Frankfurt – Match Stats
- Borussia Mönchengladbach last won the DFB Pokal in 1995.
- Since then Gladbach has reached the final four three times without managing to reach the final.
- Eintracht Frankfurt last reached the final eleven years ago.
- They lost that game to Bayern München (1-0).
- Eintracht last won the DFB Pokal in 1988.
Prediction: Gladbach vs Eintracht Frankfurt 0-2
Sommer – Elvedi, Christensen, Vestergaard, Wendt – Dahoud, Strobl – Hermann, Hofmann – Hahn, Stindl
Manager: Dieter Hecking
Hradecky – Chandler, Abraham, Andersson Ordonez – Wolf, Mascarell, Gaćinović, Oczipka – Rebić, Fabian – Seferović
Manager: Niko Kovac