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2017-18 Bundesliga Preview: Borussia Mönchengladbach look to return to Europe

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How will BMG fare this season?

Leicester City v Borussia Moenchengladbach - Preseason Friendly Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

As part of our season preview, we will be profiling all 18 clubs in the Bundesliga, and how we think they will fair during the coming season. Today, we will be focusing on Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Last Season

For the last couple years, Borussia Mönchengladbach have been one of those “almost there” Bundesliga clubs. The ones that make Europe, and occasionally pull off upsets against the top clubs, but that never really threaten for the title. Unfortunately for the foals, last year saw them slip further, all the way to a ninth place finish. It was a disappointing season that saw them lose out on the UCL and Europa League spots.

They started the season pretty well, winning three of their first five. They proceeded to win once for the rest of the hinründe. Manager André Schubert was fired the same day the first half ended, and was replaced by Dieter Hecking. Hecking, who had been manager of Wolfsburg from 2012 to 2016, did a decent job of righting the ship. During the rückrunde, Gladbach went 8-4-5, a rate that would have had them fifth over the course of the entire season. After sinking as low as 14th, they finished in 9th.

The loss of Granit Xhaka to Arsenal definitely hurt. Winger Patrick Hermann also missed three months with a ligament injury. Having been knocked out of the Champions League in the group stage (and the Europa League in the round of 16), their burden was lessened over the course of the season, and their Bundesliga performances began to improve. While they struggled a bit towards the end of the year, they still recovered remarkably.

Transfer Summary

Transfers In

  • Matthias Ginter (£15.3 Million)
  • Denis Zakaria (£10.8 Million)
  • Vincenzo Grifo (£5.4 Million)
  • Mickaël Cuisance (£225 Thousand)

Transfers Out

  • Mahmoud Dahoud (£10.8 Million)
  • André Hahn (£5.4 Million)
  • Nico Schulz (£2.7)
  • Julian Korb (£2.7)
  • Djibril Sow (£1.8)

The loss of Mahmoud Dahoud obviously hurts (tee hee). On the other hand, Denis Zakaria is a similar young midfielder who plays a bit more defensive. Matthias Ginter, while inconsistent with Dortmund, still has potential to be a quality Center Back, and should replace Nico Schulz well enough.

Outlook

I shouldn’t be too quick to say that Gladbach are likely to bounce back next season. This is because in the 2015-16 season, André Schubert took over for the failing Lucien Favre and found remarkable success. By the end of the next season, he was done. Will Dieter Hecking meet a similar fate? The one difference is that this season, Gladbach will not have to compete in Europe, and thus will be able to focus on the Bundesliga.

On paper, the Foals still possess a capable squad. Lars Stindl was one of the best attacking midfielders in the Bundesliga in the 2015-16 season. Brazilian Raffael is a quality goalscorer. Their midfield also features Thorgan Hazard and Christophe Kramer. Overall, they still have a squad that can compete in the Bundesliga, and be one of the league’s better sides.

Prediction: 6th Place

I think that Gladbach will improbe next season, but will still fall short of the Champions League (I think Hoffenheim, Lawnballs, Dortmund, and Bayern will have that on lock). Dieter Hecking has years of experience in the Bundesliga, and they don’t have to worry about Europe. Ithink they will also fall behind Schalke, but will stay a step ahead of the rest of the league.