UEFA Europa League - 2019/20 SeasonMatch press kits
|VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach||Borussia-Park - MonchengladbachThursday 19 September 2019|
21.00CET (21.00 local time) Group J - Matchday 1
Wolfsberg's first European group stage encounter takes the Austrian club across the border to Germany, where they visit former UEFA Cup winners Borussia Mönchengladbach, who reached the UEFA Europa League round of 16 in their last continental campaign three seasons ago.
• Mönchengladbach's record against Austrian opposition is W6 D1 L3, all ten matches having taken place during the 1970s. The first of the five at home, a 3-0 victory against Wacker Innsbruck in October 1974, put them on the path to what would be the first of their two UEFA Cup triumphs. Their overall home record versus Austrian clubs is W4 D1.
• Wolfsberg's two previous European ties include one against Borussia Dortmund, who knocked them out of the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round in 2015/16, a 0-1 defeat in Austria preceding a 0-5 reverse in Germany.
• A fifth-placed finish in the 2018/19 German Bundesliga booked a starting berth for Mönchengladbach in the UEFA Europa League group stage, returning the club to European competition after a two-season absence.
• Gladbach qualified from both of their previous UEFA Europa League groups, in 2012/13 and 2014/15, before going out each time in the round of 32. Having crossed over from the UEFA Champions League midway through the 2016/17 season, they made it third time lucky in that round with a spectacular comeback against Fiorentina (0-1 h, 4-2 a) before going out on away goals in an all-German round of 16 tie with Schalke (1-1 a, 2-2 h).
• The German club are without a win in five European home games (D3 L2), although their home record in the UEFA Europa League group stage is W4 D1 L1, with 15 goals scored and five conceded.
• Promoted to the Austrian top flight for the first time in 2012, Wolfsberg claimed their highest ever Bundesliga finish in 2018/19, taking third place behind champions Salzburg and runners-up LASK.
• The club's only previous European campaign, in 2015/16, ended with that defeat by Dortmund, though they were victorious in both legs of their inaugural tie, beating Shakhtyor Soligorsk of Belarus 1-0 away and 2-0 at home.
Links and trivia
• Gladbach's Jonas Hofmann scored the winning goal for Dortmund away to Wolfsberg in that 2015/16 tie.
• Wolfsberg left-back Lukas Schmitz is German and has played for Schalke, Werder Bremen and Fortuna Düsseldorf. Eight of his 104 Bundesliga games were against Mönchengladbach.
• Schmitz's Wolfsberg team-mates Stefan Perić and Michael Liendl have also played in Germany, while Dominik Baumgartner is on loan from Bochum.
• Wolfsberg are one of six clubs appearing in the UEFA Europa League group stage for the first time this season, the others being Espanyol, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Ferencváros, Olexandriya and fellow Austrian side LASK.
• Opposition bosses Marco Rose and Gerhard Struber both coached Austrian club Salzburg in the UEFA Youth League
• Rose replaced Dieter Hecking as Mönchengladbach's new head coach for the 2019/20 season. He arrived as an Austrian double winner and two-time champion with Salzburg, having also led the club to victory in the 2016/17 UEFA Youth League. A defender with home-town club VfB Leipzig, Hannover and Mainz, he spent six years on Salzburg's coaching staff and masterminded a run to the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League semi-finals during his debut campaign as head coach. Last season he led Salzburg into the round of 16.
• With 2018/19 boss Christian Ilzer having left Wolfsberg for Austria Wien, Struber was appointed as the club's new head coach in May – four months after he had left his previous job at Liefering, the feeder club of serial Austrian champions Salzburg. A former Salzburg player, with whom he won the Bundesliga title in 1997, Struber began his coaching career in the club's youth academy and also had spells on the first team staff before being appointed as Liefering's joint head coach in June 2017 and taking sole charge 12 months later.