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Preview: Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Hertha Berlin - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Borussia Monchengladbach and Hertha Berlin, including team news and predicted lineups.

Borussia Monchengladbach host Hertha Berlin on the final day of the elongated Bundesliga season looking to hold down fourth place.

The race for Champions League football has gone right down to the wire, with Gladbach two points above Bayer Leverkusen in the final qualification spot.

Match preview

Borussia Monchengladbach manager Marco Rose pictured in February 2020© Reuters

Gladbach appeared to have blown their chance to finish in the top four when losing back-to-back matches against Freiburg and Bayern Munich earlier this month.

From leading the table in mid-December to fifth place in mid-June, Marco Rose's men were seemingly left to ponder what could have been.

However, successive wins against Wolfsburg and Paderborn has changed all that, with Leverkusen suffering a costly defeat at the hands of Hertha last week.

It means that the Foals' fate is in their own hands heading into Saturday, needing only to match Leverkusen's result against mid-table Mainz 05.

Thanks to their vastly superior goal difference, even a point should be enough for Gladbach in their push for a first Champions League campaign since 2016-17.

Hertha will certainly not make things easy for their opponents, though, especially given that it was they who inflicted that defeat on Bayer last weekend.

Matheus Cunha and Dodi Lukebakio were on target at the Olympiastadion as the Old Lady brought an end to a three match losing run.

Hertha Berlin players celebrate scoring against Union Berlin in the derby on May 22, 2020© Reuters

Even accounting for that disappointing recent streak, however, Hertha have still won more games than 16 of the Bundesliga's other 17 teams since last month's restart.

Bruno Labbadia has transformed the capital club, but they were ultimately left with too much to do in the race for a European spot.

The highest Hertha can finish this season is ninth, while defeat this weekend could see them drop to 12th, though it will take a big goals swing for that to happen.

It is fair to say that Gladbach have more riding on this match than their opponents, then, but this is not a fixture that they tend to do well in.

Hertha are unbeaten in their last three league meetings with the Foals, taking seven points from a possible nine, including a goalless draw in December's clash.

Furthermore, Gladbach have lost five of their last seven final-day games, only picking up points against Darmstadt during that run.

Rose's men may be the heavy favourites to finish in fourth, but they can by no means begin preparing for Champions League football next season just yet.

Gladbach's Bundesliga form: DWLLWW

Hertha's Bundesliga form: DWLLLW

Team News

Borussia Monchengladbach's Marcus Thuram takes a knee after scoring on May 31, 2020© Reuters

Gladbach have been without Marcus Thuram for their last two matches and their 10-goal leading forward has been ruled out of this crucial clash.

Thuram's compatriot Alassane Plea, who has been equally as important to Gladbach's hopes of Champions League football, is considered a major doubt.

Skipper Lars Stindl was back among the goals last time out and now has nine to his name this season - only in 2016-17 (11) has he netted more in a single Bundesliga campaign.

Hertha have a lack of squad depth due to injuries so Labbadia may therefore stick with the same side that started against Leverkusen.

Right-backs Peter Pekarik and Lukas Klunter have both been ruled out, however, meaning that Alexander Esswein may come in.

Elsewhere, Norwegian midfielder Per Skjelbred may return to the XI on what will be his final appearance for the club after seven years of service.

Gladbach possible starting lineup:
Sommer; Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini; Kramer, Neuhaus; Herrmann, Stindl, Hofmann; Embolo

Hertha possible starting lineup:
Jarstein; Esswein, Boyata, Torunarigha, Plattenhardt; Stark, Grujic; Lukebakio, Darida, Cunha; Piatek

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We say: Gladbach 2-1 Hertha

It has been a turbulent campaign for Hertha, one that has seen them get through four head coaches, but victory in this final game may be enough for them to finish in the top half. Gladbach have far more on the line as they go head-to-head with Leverkusen for fourth place, and we expect them to get the result required to make certain of a Champions League return.

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