Borussia Monchengladbach will hope positive off-field news is translated into a first Bundesliga win of the year against Borussia Dortmund.
Saturday’s visitors to Signal Iduna Park have been boosted by the agreement of a contract extension with coach Lucien Favre and the Swiss will hope to celebrate that deal with a first competitive win since the mid-season break.
“I am pleased to continue to work for Borussia. I have been here now for over three years and I am very satisfied,” Favre told the club’s official website.
“The players now have more confidence and know who will train them in the future. I will still continue to work successfully, otherwise I would not be renewed. Although other teams were interested, I wanted to stay here absolutely.”
Favre has also completed the signing of Basel goalkeeper Yann Sommer this week – to replace the outgoing Marc-Andre ter Stegen – and they could do with carrying such positive developments into their Bundesliga form.
Gladbach have taken just three points from a possible 21 since the season resumed and have slipped to eighth after making a promising start to their campaign.
They have not won on the road in the top flight since November but have two main reasons to be hopeful ahead of their trip to Dortmund – primarily the form of Brazilian striker Raffael.
As well as having 12 Bundesliga goals to his name this season, he has found the net in three of his last four outings.
Favre’s charges will also take heart from their last meeting with Jurgen Klopp’s side when they ran out 2-0 winners at Borussia-Park.
Since then Dortmund, have seen Bayern Munich all but wrap up the title – although they will remain eager to tie up second place while also fighting it out in the DFB-Pokal and the UEFA Champions League.
While leading goalscorer Robert Lewandowski may not be risked ahead of their midweek European tie against Zenit St Petersburg on Wednesday due to a knee problem, Klopp’s side have been in impressive form.
Dortmund have won four of their last five top-flight matches, scoring 13 goals and conceding just once in those victories, with the 3-0 defeat to Hamburg their only slip-up of late.
The corresponding fixture last season saw Dortmund run out 5-0 winners and a similarly comprehensive victory on Saturday would set Klopp and his side up nicely for their Champions League clash with Zenit as they look to build on their 4-2 first-leg advantage and reach the quarter-finals.
Gladbach will also have continental considerations – namely finishing in the UEFA Europa League spots – with a win on Saturday enough to take them fifth providing other results go their way.