On Saturday evening, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Hertha BSC will face off in a contest that will have repercussions in the Bundesliga relegation battle.
|Photo: Borussia Mönchengladbach
Gladbach would have been rocked by the 3-2 defeat they suffered against Stuttgart last weekend after they squandered a two-goal lead. That result leaves Gladbach with just one victory to their name from their last seven league matches.
Adi Hütter's side are looking over their shoulders with just four points separating them from Saturday's opponents. Surprisingly involved in a relegation battle, Gladbach's weak defence has prevented them from moving away from danger, with Saturday's hosts holding the third-worst defence in the Bundesliga after conceding 51 goals this season. What will also concern Hütter is that his side have conceded 17 goals in their previous six home games - only Hertha have conceded more in that period.
Despite their defensive frailties, Gladbach have found the net consistently at Borussia-Park, scoring in 11 of their 12 home league matches this term. They will be further encouraged by the fact that they have won six of their last eight home meetings against Hertha.
Gladbach will have to do without the services of Jonas Hofmann, Mamadou Doucoure and Lars Stindl due to injury issues, while Ramy Bensebaini will serve a one-match suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards.
Hertha's nine-season stay in the Bundesliga is at risk, as they currently sit in the relegation playoff place - just one point above the bottom two. Tayfun Korkut's side are still searching for their first win of 2022 after enduring an eight-match winless run in the Bundesliga.
A dismal 4-1 defeat at home to Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend was Hertha's fourth consecutive loss, while they have conceded 58 goals league goals this season - only Greuther Fürth have shipped more.
While the defensive issues may be staring Korkut in the face, the Hertha boss also has problems to solve in the final third, after scoring just 26 goals in their 25 league games. In fact, Hertha have failed to score in more away Bundesliga matches than any other side, drawing a blank in seven of their away trips.
Kevin-Prince Boateng returned from injury to feature from the bench last weekend, and he will be amongst the substitutes once again on Saturday. Meanwhile, Alexander Schwolow is back available, and he will replace Marcel Lotka in the Hertha goal.