Gladbach vs. Hoffenheim preview: New season, new head coaches
By Ben Sully @SullyBen
With both teams beginning the new season under new head coaches, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Hoffenheim will be desperate to get off to a winning start when they go head-to-head at Borussia-Park on Saturday.
Daniel Farke will begin his first Bundesliga season as Gladbach boss with a home encounter against Hoffenheim.
The former Norwich City manager took over from Adi Hütter, who oversaw a disappointing season last term, which resulted in Gladbach flirting with relegation.
Die Fohlen eventually clawed their way up to 10th position, but it was not enough to save Hütter's job.
While there has been a change in the dugout, Gladbach have struggled in the transfer market. Breel Embolo, László Bénes, Andreas Poulsen, Jonas Kersken and Matthias Ginter have all left the club over the summer, while Die Fohlen have only made three additions of their own.
One of those signings - Jamil Najjar who joined from Hertha BSC - will play in the under-23 side. In regards to the other two additions, Ko Itakura has been signed from Manchester City, while Oscar Fraulo was brought in from FC Midtjylland.
Although they may attempt to make further signings before the transfer window closes, Gladbach will have to make do with the majority of the squad from last season.
After failing to finish in the top half of the table last term for the first time since the 2010-11 season, Gladbach will aim to establish themselves in the top nine of the Bundesliga this term.
Farke's side will head into the Bundesliga opener in a confident mood after thrashing fifth-tier side SV Oberachern 9-1, which included a first half Marcus Thuram hat-trick.
They will also draw inspiration from the 5-1 victory they achieved against Saturday's opponents in the final game of last season.
The hosts are without the services of Lars Stindl, who was forced off with a muscle injury in the DFB-Pokal encounter last weekend. Hannes Wolf will also miss out due to a hamstring problem, while there are doubts over the availability of Marvin Friedrich and Kouadio Koné.
Like their opponents, Hoffenheim also experienced a change in head coach over the summer.
After 25 Bundesliga games last term, Hoffenheim occupied fourth spot, but a failure to win any of their remaining nine games saw Die Kraichgauer plummet down the table to ninth place.
The poor end to the season cost Sebastian Hoeneß his job, with Andre Breitenreiter named as his successor.
As well as naming a new head coach, Hoffenheim have been busy in the transfer market this summer.
While David Raum has recently joined RB Leipzig, Stanley Nsoki, Ozan Kabak and Eduardo Quaresma have all come in to strengthen the defence. There have also been additions in midfield with the arrival of Grischa Prömel and Finn Ole Becker, who have joined on free transfers.
Two of their new signings were required to help Hoffenheim advance in the first round of the DFB-Pokal after they were taken to extra-time by Regionalliga West side SV Rödinghausen. With neither team able to find a goal in regulation time, the contest required an additional 30 minutes where goals from Kabak and Prömel helped Hoffenheim secure a 2-0 victory.
They will be hopeful of collecting another victory on Saturday after winning their opening Bundesliga game in the last two seasons.
Angelo Stiller and Benjamin Hübner are both sidelined with ankle problems, while Ihlas Bebou and Dennis Geiger are also expected to miss Saturday's contest.