Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Schalke 04 preview: Gladbach looking for consecutive victories
By Ben Sully @SullyBen
After beating Hoffenheim last weekend, Borussia Mönchengladbach will be aiming to record consecutive Bundesliga victories for the first time this season when they face Schalke 04 on Saturday.
After beginning 2023 with consecutive defeats, Gladbach returned to winning ways against Hoffenheim last weekend. Jonas Hofmann scored a first half brace to give his side a two-goal lead, and although Ilhas Bebou pulled a goal back in the 80th minute, Gladbach still managed to claim a comfortable victory thanks to late goals from Lars Stindl and Hannes Wolf.
Gladbach head into the weekend in eighth position, and with seven points separating them from the top six, they may be focused on securing a top half finish rather than qualifying for European competition.
Daniel Farke's side have relied heavily on their home form this season, picking up 18 of their 25 points from home matches. Impressively, they have scored 22 goals in their nine matches at BORUSSIA-PARK this season - only Bayern have registered more home goals in the topflight.
With only one of their last 12 competitive meetings with Schalke ending in defeat, Gladbach will be confident that they can pick up at least a point on Saturday.
Farke has revealed that Stindl and Manu Koné are both doubts due to back and thigh problems respectively.
Schalke are currently rooted to the bottom of the Bundesliga table, and with six points separating them from safety, they need to start picking up victories if they are to stand any chance of avoiding the drop this season.
Although they were unable to claim all three points when they played host to FC Köln last weekend, Schalke would have taken some confidence from a goalless draw, which ended a run of three consecutive league defeats.
However, if Die Königsblauen are to mount a credible bid to remain in the topflight then they will need to improve on their travels. Schalke are one of two sides - alongside Stuttgart - who are yet to win an away league game this season. As a result, they currently hold the worst away record in the Bundesliga, with their eight away games yielding only two points.
Schalke have failed to win their last 36 topflight matches on the road, and if they can claim three points on Saturday, it would represent their first Bundesliga away victory since November 2019.
The visitors are unable to call upon the services of Sebastian Polter, Justin Heekeren and Sepp van den Berg, who are all sidelined with injury issues. After joining the club on transfer deadline day, Éder Balanta could be given his debut on Saturday.