MX23RW : Wednesday, September 22 21:25:04| >> :600:310022:310022:
May 16, 2020 at 5.30pm UK at Commerzbank Arena
FrankfurtEintracht Frankfurt
Borussia M'bachBorussia Monchengladbach
Silva (81')
Kostic (24'), N'Dicka (36'), Silva (59'), Ilsanker (70'), Kohr (89')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Plea (1'), Thuram (7'), Bensebaini (72' pen.)
Elvedi (9')

Preview: Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Borussia Monchengladbach - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga showdown between Eintracht Frankfurt and Champions League-chasing Borussia Monchengladbach, including predictions and team news.

The first post-coronavirus shutdown evening Bundesliga kickoff sees Eintracht Frankfurt take on Borussia Monchengladbach at an empty Commerzbank-Arena on Saturday.

The hosts went into lockdown on a poor run of form and with their hopes of European football all but over, whereas Gladbach are right in the mix for a Champions League spot next season.

Match preview

Borussia Monchengladbach manager Marco Rose pictured in February 2020© Reuters

Borussia Monchengladbach have little choice but to hit the ground running as the Bundesliga becomes the first major league to return amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Marco Rose has enjoyed a successful first season at the helm so far, but there is still work to do if he is to secure a top-four finish, and with it Champions League football for the 2020-21 campaign.

The financial benefits of being in that competition are likely to be more helpful than ever given what has happened over the last few months, meaning that an already-fascinating Bundesliga battle takes on even more importance now.

Just four points separate second-placed Borussia Dortmund from fifth-placed Bayer Leverkusen, with Monchengladbach currently sitting fourth with a two-point advantage over fifth.

A run of just one defeat in seven prior to the lockdown helped to keep them on the right side of the dotted line, but Rose will know that they need to become more consistent over the final nine games of the season.

Gladbach have not won back-to-back games since overcoming Bayern Munich at the beginning of December, although that is something they could achieve this weekend having beaten Koln just before play was suspended.

The visitors are also looking to win three away games on the bounce for the first time since their opening three of the season, but they are coming up against a Frankfurt side with an impressive home record this term too.

Eintracht Frankfurt head coach Adi Hutter pictured in March 2020© Reuters

Indeed, only the top five have picked up more points in front of their own fans this season and their home form has kept them away from trouble given that they have the worst away record in the entire division.

Home games may not carry as much of an advantage with no fans in the stadium, though, and Frankfurt were well beaten by Basel in front of a deserted Commerzbank-Arena just before play was suspended.

Adi Hutter's side may have been slightly relieved that the action stopped when it did; they have conceded seven goals without reply in their last two matches and have only won one of their last five - a dramatic dip in form after a run of five wins and only one defeat in the seven before that.

The Eagles will hope that the two-month stoppage has helped to get them out of that rut, which has prompted a few nervy looks over their shoulders at the relegation zone.

Frankfurt still boast a six-point advantage over 16th place with a game in hand and so they are not in any immediate danger, but they do still have work to do over the closing stages of the campaign.

Frankfurt Bundesliga form: WDWLLL
Frankfurt form (all competitions): WLDWLL

Monchengladbach Bundesliga form: DWDWLW

Team News

Denis Zakaria pictured in February 2020© Reuters

While the top four remains the priority for Monchengladbach, a first title since 1976-77 is not off the cards just yet.

However, they will have to cope without star man Denis Zakaria for the time being, with the defensive midfielder having undergone knee surgery which is expected to keep him out for up to six weeks.

The visitors should otherwise be at full strength, though, which means that Manchester United-linked striker Alassane Plea will lead the line once more.

Frankfurt, meanwhile, are expected to be without Marco Russ as he continues to recover from an Achilles injury, but the suspension of play has given all other injury doubts the chance to recover.

Goals have been the biggest issue for Saturday's hosts following last summer's departures of Luka Jovic and Sebastien Haller, but their league top-scorer Goncalo Paciencia should start again while Martin Hinteregger has weighed in with six from centre-back this term.

Frankfurt possible starting lineup:
Trapp; Toure, Abraham, Hinteregger, N'Dicka; Hasebe; Kamada, Rode, Sow, Kostic; Paciencia

Monchengladbach possible starting lineup:
Sommer; Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini; Kramer, Neuhaus; Embolo, Stindl, Thuram; Plea

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We say: Frankfurt 1-2 Monchengladbach

This match is much more important for Monchengladbach than it is for Frankfurt right now, and with the home advantage aspect somewhat diminished by a lack of fans we are backing the visitors to come away with another three points in their bid for Champions League football.

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Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria celebrates scoring for Switzerland in June 2019
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