Borussia Monchengladbach back to strength against Celtic
Only one team have beaten Borussia Monchengladbach at home since January. But the narrow victory for Barcelona in September hardly provides a template for how Celtic can drag themselves back into contention for third place in Group C of the Champions League on Tuesday night.
Yet, the fact that Eintracht Frankfurt kept a clean sheet at Borussia-Park on Friday evening suggests there is clearly an unpredictability about the Germans that means they do not always hit the heights they did in handing out a footballing lesson to Brendan Rodgers’ men with the 2-0 win in Glasgow a couple of weeks ago.
The club’s Swedish defender Oscar Wendt wouldn’t deny that fact. “We know that when we play at our best we are a strong side,” said the 31-year-old, who featured for Copenhagen against Celtic in competition a decade ago.
“We can keep the ball, we can counter attack and we can defend. We have showed that before, we just have to be a little bit more consistent.
“I think in Scotland we really limited Celtic’s opportunities. Did they have any good chances? I don’t think so. I think we deserved to win by a goal or two and we won 2-0, which was enough.”
With two defeats going into the Celtic Park encounter, victory was a must for Andre Schubert’s side against their Scottish counterparts. Taking six points from the double-header with Rodgers’ men would as good as condemn Celtic, who have only a single point in Group C, to bottom spot in a dastardly difficult section.
Wendt appears confident they will deliver the coup de grace to their visitors’ European prospects this week.
“The Glasgow game was crucial because if we had lost it would have been pretty much over but now we have three points and two home games to come so it looks better now than it did before,” Wendt said.
“I think if we play at our best [we can knock-out Celtic this week]. We know how good we are when we play in our own stadium. We think we can beat every team when we play at home so hopefully we can continue what we started in Glasgow.”
Borussia are set to receive a boost ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Celtic with four key players expected to make their return from injury
Striker Raffael is set to return after a hamstring injury along with Thorgan Hazard – brother of Chelsea’s Eden – who has recovered from a knee knock.
And on-loan Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen is also set to return along with winger Ibrahima Traore.
Monchengladbach manager Schubert said: “It was too early for Raffael against Frankfurt, but we are very hopeful he will be ready for Celtic.
“And Thorgan, Ibrahima and Andreas are also due back after a period of time out. They could make a big difference for us.”