"Playing to win"
This Sunday, the Wolves play host to Borussia Mönchengladbach in the Volkswagen Arena.
The last home outing against SC Freiburg produced the Wolves first win on their own turf in the current Bundesliga season – and the Green-Whites will be looking to follow that result up with a further home victory on Sunday, December 3rd (kick-off 18:00 CET) at the Volkswagen Arena. In Borussia Mönchengladbach, VfL will have a guest who hit top-form in Germany’s top-flight in recent weeks – including last weekend’s 2-1 home victory over FC Bayern Munich. VfL head-coach Martin Schmidt stated confidently: "We are determined to achieve the goals we have set ourselves prior to Christmas and will be doing all in our power to make them happen. The first hurdle is Gladbach and we are ready for that."
Gladbach "a very strong team"
The performances of the side coached by former VfL head-coach Dieter Hecking have not eluded the Swiss coach’s attention. The side from the banks of the river Rhine have worked their way up into fourth place in the table – with only the goal-difference of Schalke keeping Borussia off third spot. "Four weeks ago, I would have said Gladbach are an opponent at eye-level with us, but having taken ten points from their last four games, they are in an international qualifying place – which is undoubtedly what they aspire to," commented Schmidt, adding: "It will be a very different game to the one in Augsburg. Gladbach play a different style of football. They are a very strong footballing team that always want to have the ball. They are one of the teams in Bundesliga who have most ball-contacts leading to a goal."
"Unbeaten and strong at home"
As the Wolves have failed to pick up points on their own turf on only one occasion so far this season, Schmidt is unwilling to allow his side to be pushed into the role of outsiders. "We are unbeaten at home since August and strong in our own stadium. That would imply that there is no real favourite. As the home side, we want to play for the win – that is the approach we will be taking." The Wolves have since shaken off their first defeat under Schmidt and the determination to claim all three points was clear to see during the week’s training. "The mood within the team is exceptional. In training there is no end of motivation and power and we almost have to put the brakes on, otherwise we’d have no energy left for Sunday," noted the Swiss coach.
Not even the pending absence of Maximilian Arnold, through suspension, has dampened spirits. "Max is a player with very special abilities, who drives our game forward and presses against the ball with great commitment," commented Schmidt, adding: "In Guilavogui, Gerhardt and Bazoer, we are well covered in the centre, which means we have the necessary solutions in compensating for absentees." The Wolves will also be without the injured Jakub Blaszczykowski and Ignacio Camacho this Sunday.