Borussia Mönchengladbach: Gladbach have started 2021 in fantastic four. Four wins and two draws in the Bundesliga were followed up by Pokal progression. Marco Rose’s men, along with Eintracht Frankfurt, are the only unbeaten Bundesliga sides in the New Year. Along with Bayern (15), only Frankfurt (16) have taken more points in the first six games of 2021 than Gladbach.
1. FC Köln: FC’s win against Arminia Bielefeld meant Markus Gisdol’s charges ended the weekend in 14th. While the Pokal game against Jahn Regensburg didn’t go as planned, the derby against Gladbach is a good chance to put things right. Gisdol and co have managed seven points so far in the New Year and will hope to add more to the tally in a challenging February.
Marco Rose: “Over the past few weeks, Köln have built up consistency in terms of their structure, tactics, and organisation. They’ll give it everything they’ve got and have nothing to lose. On our part, we have a strong desire to win the match and continue our good run.”
Markus Gisdol: “We will analyse Gladbach intensively and present that analysis to our boys. It's an important derby for us. They are a Champions League side. We have the chance to make good on one or two things and to put in a real team performance.”
Borussia Mönchengladbach: Gladbach have no fresh injury concerns with a team that has overcome any early season injury problems. Valentino Lazaro has done just that as well, and will be back in the squad come kick-off.
1. FC Köln: Sebastian Andersson and Florian Kainz remain absent ahead of the trip to Gladbach.
Lars Stindl is enjoying one of his best ever seasons in the Bundesliga. The Gladbach attacker already has nine goals to his name after just 19 games. He has hit double figures twice in his career, and will be hoping to pass his best ever tally of 11 (2016-17) before the season is over. Stindl is not only Gladbach’s top goalscorer, but has scored the first goal of the game on five occasions this season; no other player in the Bundesliga has managed that more often.
Gladbach have won the last three derbies and, over the last 20 years, a trip west has rarely given reason to celebrate. However, the Novakovic and Risse winners will live long in the memory. In fact, three of FC’s last four winning goals in derby games have come after the 87th minute. Anthony Modeste’s 64th minute effort is the only exception. Will there be a repeat this weekend?
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