Moenchengladbach must recover from cup shock vs. Dortmund
Apr. 09, 2015
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Borussia Moenchengladbach must recover from its disappointing German Cup exit when it meets the namesake from Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Moenchengladbach went out on penalties against third-division Arminia Bielefeld in the quarterfinals of the German Cup on Wednesday and has little time to regroup before hosting Dortmund, which made it to the semifinals.
Dortmund is hoping central defender Mats Hummels and forward Marco Reus will be available after missing the narrow 3-2 cup victory against Hoffenheim. Dortmund's seven-match unbeaten run in the league ended last weekend in a 1-0 loss to Bayern.
Moenchengladbach is in third place but has a narrow two-point lead over Bayer Leverkusen in the contest for a direct slot in the Champions League. Leverkusen lost on penalties to Bayern Munich in the cup, but has five straight wins in the Bundesliga. Moenchengladbach is undefeated in its last seven league games, a run that includes a win over Bayern.
Here are some things to know ahead of the 28th round this weekend:
Bayer Leverkusen will not have much time to recover before its trip to Mainz following its loss on penalties against Bayern Munich in the German Cup on Wednesday. Leverkusen held the German powerhouse scoreless over 120 minutes before losing the shootout.
Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt must decide if he needs to rest some players, although playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu only was a late substitute against Bayern. Leverkusen has not conceded a goal in five league matches.
Mainz looks safe six points from the danger zone but still needs to make sure it won't slip into the struggle against relegation.
Bayern overcame the absence of several top stars to prevail over Leverkusen and stay on course for a repeat of its 2013 treble. The defending Bundesliga champion and runaway leader hopes midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger will return against Eintracht Frankfurt, although wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben are still sidelined.
Midfielder Thiago Alcantara is back after missing a year with a knee injury and converted the decisive penalty against Leverkusen. His return should compensate somewhat for the absence of Robben and Ribery.
Eintracht is winless in its last seven matches on the road and will not have the injured central defender Carlos Zambrano.
Hamburger SV is the only founding member of the Bundesliga not to have been relegated since its inception in 1963 but could change this season.
Winless in its last seven and with three straight defeats, Hamburg is now 16th, which means a relegation playoff, and three points from safety.
The firing of coach Joe Zinnbauer and the appointment of Peter Knaebel as interim boss brought no relief — Hamburg lost 4-0 in Leverkusen.
Hamburg now hosts second-place Wolfsburg and another defeat could mean relegation.
With two straight wins, Freiburg has lifted itself three points clear of the danger zone. It travels to Schalke hoping to take another step toward salvation.
Schalke is winless in its last there and has only one victory in its last seven matches.
Roberto di Matteo's team has fallen eight points behind fourth-place Leverkusen and has all but lost all hopes of qualifying for the Champions League, a major blow to the expensively assembled squad.