- 23 Oct 2014
- Team supported
- Manchester City
The League Positions
We are sitting at the top of the Premier League, way ahead of the rest ... and view from up here is just beautiful.
Don't think I need to post the Premier League table, you all look at it a dozen times a day anyway.
As for Borussia Mönchengladbach, they sit 8th in the Bundesliga, out of the European places and more towards mid-table. They have struggled this season to reach the heights they reached last year.
As for a quick head-to-head reminder, we have played them four times in previous Champions League campaigns, winning three of them and drawing one. But none of that is of much relevance as far as this tie is concerned.
Before & After
Borussia Mönchengladbach played their league game against relegation threatened Mainz yesterday (Saturday) afternoon which they lost 1-2 at home. But that also means they will have an extra day to rest and recover over us. After this Champions League tie though, they have a tough Bundesliga fixture against the high flying RB Leipzig on next Saturday.
We have just played Arsenal, a day later than them, and also have the shortest turnaround to the next game in the Premier League that is on Saturday (early 12:30pm kick-off).
These are their (and our) games around this tie:
Sat 20 - 2:30pm - Mainz (H) - Bundesliga
Wed 24 - 4:30pm - City (H) - CL
Sat 27 - 5:30pm - RB Leipzig (A) - Bundesliga
Sun 21 - 4:30pm - Arsenal (A) - PL
Wed 24 - 8:00pm - Mönchengladbach (A) - CL
Sat 27 - 12:30pm - West Ham (H) - PL
It is what it is ... our luck with scheduling had to come to an end at some point. But given the lead we have established in the league should be sufficient to allow us to focus on different competitions if and when required ... but that prioritization isn't required just as yet.
The Opposing Manager
Marco Rose, their manager, was a defender as a player and played for Lokomotive Leipzig, Hannover and a certain Jurgen Klopp's Mainz (under whom he played for six years). As a manager then he has managed the Mainz's second team, Lokomotive Leipzig and Red Bull Salzburg before taking over his current managerial role. Klopp's going out-of-the-way to praise and describe Marco Rose as a visionary in the season before when he was at RB Salzburg no doubt helped his move from Austria to the Bundesliga.
He joined Borussia Mönchengladbach at the start of the 2019/20 season and in his first season in charge there finished fourth in Bundesliga thus qualifying for the Champions League (after an absence of three seasons from the competition). And then in his first season in charge of the Champions League group stage (current season 2020/21), he has taken them to the knockout stage for the first time in the club's history.
His managerial style and basic playing philosophy in his own words is "emotional, hungry and being active" (yup, another Kloppie influenced German). So expect his team to run and huff and puff a lot. He stated that his preference is playing a 4-4-2 diamond formation ... but in the recent past he has favoured 4-2-3-1 at Borussia Mönchengladbach (some times also deploying a more attacking 4-3-3).
His grandfather, Walter Rose, was also a footballer (a defender as well) who apart from various clubs, also played (one single game) for Germany.
Their manager is no doubt very good ... so good that Borussia Dortmund has plucked him out of there and just last week Borussia Mönchengladbach announced his impending departure at the end of this season.
That kind of writes off this current season for Borussia Mönchengladbach as they're sitting smack bang in the middle of the table ... neither fighting relegation that the players would need to fight for their outgoing manager nor really threatening to break back into the top tier of their league like they did last season.
This is their first ever Champions League knockout tie and before this whenever they have played in the group stage they have always failed to qualify for the big stage. It's a shame that their fans won't be there to enjoy it ... and the fact that they are having to play their home leg away from their country, let alone their own ground isn't going to inspire their players unless they are real warriors and all this adversity makes them perform like superhumans on the night ... nah, don't see it happening.
Their mid-table status and recent results don't show that fight or hunger. They have not won in last four games in Bundesliga (D2 L2). Couple that with the recent announcement of their manager on his way out and being forced to play what is supposed to be a home game in a totally different neutral country and involving the same kind of travel etc. that would be required for away legs ... I just don't see it happening for them. Sorry Borussia Mönchengladbach fans if you are here and reading this - but feel free to share your thoughts if you are feeling any more optimistic than this.
Another professional and controlled display is on its way ...
Borussia Mönchengladbach 0 - 2 Manchester City