Our next opponents: Flexible Foals in confident mood

Following the long journey to Israel, the Werkself have a derby against a close rival in the table. Borussia Mönchengladbach visit the BayArena on Sunday 8 November (kick-off: 18.00 CET) – and they are confident on the back of an historic win.


Borussia have made two really big statements in the past three days. For starters, Mönchengladbach inflicted the first defeat on top team RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga and then went on to beat Shakhtar Donetsk 6-0 in Ukraine – a team that had previously tamed Real Madrid and drawn with Inter Milan in their last two European games. Accordingly, Gladbach could hardly be more confident ahead of the clash with the Werkself. “In this game, we got lots of things, and possibly everything, right,” declared a happy coach Marco Rose after the runaway victory in Ukraine. It produced by far the biggest win for the Foals in the Champions League to date – and a win that catapulted Mönchengladbach to the top of the group of death with Real, Inter and Shakhtar. An interim position that few people expected but is richly deserved. Borussia were on the verge of victory against Real Madrid and Inter Milan but conceded late on. And in the league? There could be a continuation of the perennial duel of the past two years with Bayer 04 and Borussia competing for fourth place in the table right up to final matchday. The two teams are currently fourth and fifth with Mönchengladbach one place and one point behind the Werkself.


Rose has recently again and again rotated his side in the many double-fixture weeks. He can afford to do that as Mönchengladbach have a very balanced squad. Practically the only regular starters in every game are goalkeeper Yann Sommer, central defenders Matthias Ginter and Nico Elvedi plus right-back Stefan Lainer. Denis Zakaria also belongs to this group. However, the midfielder has been sidelined for the last eight months with a knee injury and is currently still not back in full training – an absence that hits Borussia hard and which they have had to get used to. The only other player missing due to injury is reserve full-back Andreas Poulsen and homegrown player Jordan Beyer is just set to be on the subs bench after overcoming a coronavirus infection.

A recent option is new signing Valentino Lazaro, who has arrived on loan from group opponents Inter Milan. The Austrian was ruled out at the start of the season with a muscle injury and only played his first minutes in a Gladbach shirt last Saturday against Leipzig. That was followed by fifteen minutes against Shakhtar. It is possible that Rose will entrust the midfielder with a somewhat bigger role against the Werkself. In any event, Lazaro already extends the broad range of players in the Gladbach squad.


Mönchengladbach are characterised by their versatility. Rose likes to switch between a back three and a back four and he is frequently able to change his line-up as he has a very balanced squad including up front. In addition, attacking players like Jonas Hofmann, Breel Embolo and Marcus Thuram are very versatile and can play in different positions without a reduction in quality. Much more important than a fixed formation: The team has taken the fast and energetic Rose football to heart and every player knows his role regardless of the particular formation. This flexibility makes Mönchengladbach a very unpredictable opponent and the quality in every part of the team is high and there are no obvious weak spots.


Borussia could be in an even better position if they were able to hold onto leads with greater regularity. But goals conceded late on have proved to be their Achilles heel in the season to date. The game against Real Madrid was particularly disappointing as Borussia missed out on making the most of an impressive performance as they gave away a 2-0 lead with two goals after 87 minutes. The Foals conceded the equaliser in the 2-2 draw with Inter Milan on 90 minutes – and Rose’s team was in the lead in the Bundesliga against both Union Berlin and Wolfsburg but ended up drawing 1-1 with goals conceded in the closing stages of both games.


Regression in the second season under Rose is not expected – on the contrary. The team has not lost any key players, has gained quality and is taking the next step under their coach. Particularly in the Champions League, Mönchengladbach have impressively demonstrated what this team is capable of domestically and in Europe. Will we again see a neck-and-neck race between the Foals and the Werkself? That can’t be ruled out…


Related News

DFB-Pokal - 06.12.2023

Matchday news #B04SCP: Quarter-finals the goal

The Werkself host Paderborn in the DFB-Pokal round of 16 today, Wednesday 6 December (18:00 CET) at the BayArena. Here’s all the latest information ahead of the cup clash with the Bundesliga 2 club.

Show more
Bayer 04 - 06.12.2023

Vote for Grimaldo or Frimpong in Bundesliga’s Player of the Month!

The Bundesliga has announced its nominees for November’s Player of the Month, with two Werkself players up for the award in Alejandro Grimaldo and Jeremie Frimpong. Fans can now vote for who they want to win.

Show more
Bayer 04 - 06.12.2023

Fans under the Cross: No journey too far

Next year marks Bayer 04’s 120th birthday. To celebrate the occasion, we would like to take the opportunity, today and in the next few months, to regularly look at football under the Cross on and primarily delve into the question of: How have we become the club we are today? Part two of our series looks at our fans. Werkself supporters are enjoying this season like never before, providing incredible support both home and away.

Show more
Bayer 04 - 06.12.2023

Vote for Boniface for the Bundesliga Rookie of the Month for November!

The Bundesliga has named the three nominees for November’s Rookie of the Month award. Werkself striker Victor Boniface, who has won the trophy in August, September and October, is once again up for the award. Fans have the chance to pick the winner by casting their votes online.

Show more