Stindl misses out, Elvedi and Hofmann return
The Foals began a new week of training on Tuesday morning without injured captain Lars Stindl.
Matchday 27 in the Bundesliga saw Borussia Mönchengladbach secure a 2-1 home win over SC Freiburg on Saturday night, with two quickfire Marcus Thuram goals completing a second-half comeback.
After a two-week long wait for the Bundesliga to return, it was a disappointing start for the Foals at BORUSSIA-PARK. A Freiburg counterattack down the left-hand side saw a cross into the centre finished off by Roland Sallai, handing the visitors the lead inside 10 minutes. Gladbach struggled to offer a response against an organised SCF defence, who also continued to carry a threat on the break, and Yann Sommer had to save well to deny Sallai a second goal (22’). An Oscar Wendt free-kick and a Florian Neuhaus volley both flew wide of the target in the Foals’ only real chances of the first half, which could have ended with another Freiburg goal if not for Sommer’s save on the line to deny Lucas Höler following a stoppage-time corner.
Denis Zakaria replaced Hannes Wolf at half time in a tactical change, and it seemed to do the trick. Borussia began to look dangerous and Alassane Plea’s header forced Florian Müller into his first notable save (48’). Five minutes later, the SCF goalkeeper was picking the ball out of his net. Lars Stindl found Marcus Thuram in the box and his volley on the turn took a big deflection to level the scores (53’). The Foals were playing with more confidence now and that translated into a quickfire double from Thuram, who beat his man to Christoph Kramer’s through ball, before rounding the goalkeeper and slotting in to make it 2-1 after 60 minutes. The Frenchman almost completed an 11-minute hat-trick soon after, but was unlucky to see his shot slip wide of the post. The Foals were in full gallop now and thought they had a third when Baptiste Santamaria turned Stindl’s ball across the box into his own net, but VAR spotted a foul in the build-up by Stefan Lainer (69’). The tempo soon slowed though and Freiburg pushed for a late equaliser, and in the 95th minute, they too thought they had scored. Nico Schlotterbeck finished off an attack to net a seemingly dramatic equaliser, but VAR intervened again, this time penalising an offside position, much to the Foals’ relief.
Marco Rose made three changes to the side that won 3-0 at Schalke prior to the international break, with Jordan Beyer, Oscar Wendt and Hannes Wolf coming in for Nico Elvedi, Ramy Bensebaini and Jonas Hofmann.
All three alterations were enforced, with Bensebaini serving a one-match yellow-card suspension, Jonas Hofmann quarantined with coronavirus, and a knock to his calf in final training making Nico Elvedi unavailable at short notice. They joined Torben Müsel and Julio Villalba on the absentee list, with the pair still returning to fitness.
Borussia: Sommer, Lainer, Ginter, Beyer, Wendt (82’ Lazaro), Kramer, Neuhaus, Wolf (46’ Zakaria), Stindl (90’ Herrmann), Thuram (76’ Embolo), Plea
SC Freiburg: Müller, Lienhart (69’ Heintz), Schlotterbeck, Gulde, Schmid, Günter, Santamaria, Keitel (89’ Haberer), Sallai (76’ Burkart), Höler, Demirovic (89’ Petersen)
Goals: 0-1 Sallai (10’), 1-1 Thuram (53’), 2-1 Thuram (60’)
Yellow cards: Kramer / Demirovic, Höler, Günter
Referee: Christian Dingert (Lebecksmühle)