A gripping Group B will have a thrilling conclusion as 13-time winners Real Madrid host section leaders Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 6.
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Everything remains undecided in Group B with all four teams still in contention to progress on Matchday 6, when 13-time winners Real Madrid host section leaders Borussia Mönchengladbach.
• Both sides were beaten on Matchday 5, Madrid going down 2-0 at Shakhtar Donetsk while Mönchengladbach lost a five-goal thriller at home to Inter. That left the German club on eight points, two ahead of Madrid and Shakhtar, with Inter – who are at home to the Ukrainian side on the final day – on five.
• Madrid will progress with a victory – as group winners unless Shakhtar beat Inter. A draw will only be enough to take the Spanish side through if Inter beat Shakhtar, while a defeat will eliminate them.
• Mönchengladbach will qualify as group winners with a victory, and will also go through with a draw, or even a defeat if Inter and Shakhtar draw. Unlike their three group rivals, the German side can finish no lower than third so are alone among the quartet in being guaranteed European football in the spring.
• Madrid scored two late goals to rescue a draw in Germany on Matchday 2, avoiding what would have been a fourth consecutive European defeat for the first time in their history. Karim Benzema (87) and Casemiro (90+3) salvaged a point after Marcus Thuram (33, 58) had scored either side of half-time to put the home side two up.
• Matchday 2 marked the teams' first game in 35 years, since a remarkable third round tie in the 1985/86 UEFA Cup. Mönchengladbach were 5-1 winners in the home first leg, played in Düsseldorf, Uwe Rahn scoring twice – but Madrid turned round the tie in style with a 4-0 home success, Jorge Valdano and Santillana each getting two goals with the latter's decisive second arriving in the 88th minute.
• That was one of only five occasions where a side has overturned a four-goal first-leg defeat to win the tie in UEFA competition.
• Madrid therefore won that tie on away goals, as they had done their other contest against Mönchengladbach, in the 1975/76 European Champion Clubs' Cup quarter-final (2-2 a, 1-1 h).
• Madrid have collected six of their seven points this season against Inter, who they beat 3-2 at home and 2-0 away. They took only one point from their first two Group B games, losing 3-2 at home to Shakhtar before the late fightback at Mönchengladbach and went down 2-0 in Ukraine last time out; they have conceded nine goals in their first five games, their worst defensive record at this point of the initial UEFA Champions League group stage.
• Spanish champions for a record-extending 34th time in 2019/20, this is Madrid's 25th UEFA Champions League campaign – a joint record along with Barcelona. They have qualified for the knockout rounds in all of their 25 seasons, also a competition best.
• This is the 13-time champions' 51st European Cup campaign, more than any other side.
• Madrid have finished second in their group three times in the last four seasons.
• In 2019/20, Zinédine Zidane's side were runners-up in their section behind eventual finalists Paris Saint-Germain, finishing on 11 points, five fewer than Paris. Their campaign came to an end in the round of 16 as they lost 2-1 home and away to Manchester City.
• Having reached the semi-finals or better for eight successive seasons between 2010/11 and 2017/18, Madrid have therefore lost in the last 16 in each of the last two campaigns, bowing out against Ajax in 2018/19.
• Madrid have won only three of their last nine UEFA Champions League matches (D2 L4). They have lost seven of their last 16 (W6 D3).
• The Matchday 3 win against Inter was only Madrid's second victory in eight home European games (D2 L4).
• Benzema's goal on Matchday 2 means he has matched Lionel Messi's record of scoring in 16 successive UEFA Champions League campaigns.
• Madrid's home record against Bundesliga clubs is W25 D6 L3. A 4-3 defeat by Schalke in the 2014/15 round of 16 second leg (5-4 aggregate) is Madrid's sole reverse in their last 18 home games against German teams (W13 D4).
• Madrid's most recent home match against a German club was a 2-2 draw against Bayern München in the 2017/18 semi-final second leg (4-3 aggregate); that was the fourth successive home game against Bundesliga visitors in which they had conceded two goals.
• The German club conceded late goals to draw each of their first two fixtures 2-2, shipping a 90th-minute equaliser at Inter before Madrid's late revival. Gladbach then stormed to the top of the table with a 6-0 win at Shakhtar, Alassane Pléa scoring a hat-trick in his club's record away UEFA Champions League victory; their biggest home success followed on Matchday 4 with a 4-0 defeat of the Ukrainian side at Borussia-Park, but their hopes of securing progress were checked by a 3-2 defeat against Inter in Germany last time out.
• This is Mönchengladbach's third UEFA Champions League group stage appearance, both previous participations – in 2015/16 and 2016/17 – ending in early elimination. Fourth in their debut campaign in 2015, the German club finished third 12 months later to move into the UEFA Europa League, where they were beaten on away goals by Schalke in an all-Bundesliga round of 16 tie (1-1 a, 2-2 h).
• Mönchengladbach took part in the UEFA Europa League group stage in 2019/20, finishing third behind İstanbul Başakşehir and Roma in their section. Marco Rose's side picked up eight points (W2 D2 L2) from their six fixtures to bow out.
• The Foals have won four of their last eight European games (D2 L2) but only five of the last 18 (D8 L5).
• Mönchengladbach are unbeaten in seven European away games (W3 D4), since a 4-0 loss at Barcelona on Matchday 6 of the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League.
• This is Mönchengladbach's ninth visit to Spain but they have not won away to Liga opposition since their first trip, a 4-2 success at Real Zaragoza in the 1974/75 UEFA Cup. Their record since then is D2 L5; that defeat at Barcelona in December 2016 made it three successive defeats in Spain with no goals scored and eight conceded in that run.
• A 4-2 home defeat of Sevilla in the 2015/16 group stage is Mönchengladbach's only win in their last 12 matches against Spanish opponents, home and away (D3 L8); Matchday 2 was only the second time they have avoided defeat in the last seven contests (W1 D1).
Links and trivia
• Capped 101 times by Germany, Toni Kroos was a first-team player at Bayern München between 2007 and 2014, scoring 25 goals in 205 games in all competitions for the club. He won three Bundesliga titles, two DFB-Pokals and, in 2013, the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup with the Munich side.
• Kroos spent the second half of 2008/09 and the whole of the following season on loan at Bayer Leverkusen, scoring twice in a 3-2 Bundesliga defeat of Mönchengladbach on 19 December 2009.
• Have also played in Germany:
Dani Carvajal (Bayer Leverkusen 2012/13)
Álvaro Odriozola (Bayern 2020 loan)
Luka Jović (Eintracht Frankfurt 2017–19 loan)
• Jović found the net in Eintracht's 2-0 home win against Mönchengladbach in the Bundesliga on 26 January 2018.
• International team-mates:
Raphaël Varane & Alassane Pléa (France)
Toni Kroos & Mathias Ginter, Jonas Hofmann, Florian Neuhaus (Germany)
• Odriozola scored his first international goal past Mönchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer in Spain's 1-1 friendly draw against Switzerland on 3 June 2018; Michael Lang, Breel Embolo and Denis Zakaria also featured for the Swiss.
• Yann Sommer saved two Sergio Ramos penalties as Switzerland held Spain 1-1 at home in a UEFA Nations League encounter on 14 November. Nico Elvedi was sent off late on for the Swiss.
• Ginter and substitute Neuhaus were in the Germany side beaten 6-0 by Spain in the UEFA Nations League Group A4 decider in Seville on 17 November.
• Madrid have won five of their last 12 games in all competitions (D2 L5). They were 1-0 victors at fellow UEFA Champions League contenders Sevilla on Saturday, ending a three-match run without a league win (D1 L2).
• A 2-1 loss to Alavés on 28 November was Madrid's third defeat in their last five home games in all competitions (W2), as many as in their previous 31 matches (W22 D6).
• The defeat by Alavés was also Madrid's third in this season's Liga, as many as they suffered in the whole of 2019/20.
• A 1-0 loss against Cádiz on 17 October was Madrid's first Liga defeat at home since a 2-0 reverse against Betis on 19 May 2019; Cádiz thus ended Madrid's 20-match unbeaten home league run (W16 D4).
• Madrid had suffered their second league defeat of the season on 8 November, going down 4-1 at Valencia – a game in which they conceded three penalties for the first time in the Liga.
• Sergio Ramos broke Gianluigi Buffon's European all-time men's caps record in Spain's 1-1 draw with Switzerland in the UEFA Nations League on 14 November, making his 177th international appearance. However, he missed two penalties in the game, having scored his previous 25 for club and country.
• Ramos also started the 6-0 win against Germany, also in the UEFA Nations League, three days later that booked Spain's place in the Finals, but had to be substituted shortly before half-time due to a hamstring injury and has not played since.
• A Luka Jović goal was not enough to prevent Serbia losing on penalties to Scotland after a 1-1 draw in the final of their UEFA EURO 2020 play-off in Belgrade on 12 November. Jović scored twice more six days later as Serbia concluded their UEFA Nations League campaign with a 5-0 home win against Russia.
• Nacho (out since 24 October, thigh injury) and Dani Carvajal (2 October, knee) returned to play 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw at Villarreal on 21 November, although the latter has not played since due to a hamstring problem.
• Álvaro Odriozola picked up a calf injury in training before the October international break and has not played since, although he was an unused substitute on Saturday.
• Federico Valverde suffered a leg injury at Valencia and has not played since.
• On Matchday 5 Karim Benzema made his first appearance since 8 November due to an adductor problem.
• Eden Hazard had to be replaced during the first half against Alavés due to a groin injury and has not played since. Jović has been sidelined by illness.
• Ramos is among the candidates for UEFA.com fans' Men's Team of the Year.
• Gladbach's record in this season's Bundesliga is W4 D4 L2. They were held 2-2 at Freiburg in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
• The Foals have lost only two of their last 14 matches in all competitions (W6 D6).
• Breel Embolo, who scored eight goals in last season's Bundesliga, opened his account for the current campaign on Saturday. Alassane Pléa got his second league goal of the season; he has five in the UEFA Champions League.
• Marcus Thuram made his France debut in a 2-0 friendly loss against Finland on 11 November.
• Yann Sommer saved two Sergio Ramos penalties as Switzerland held Spain 1-1 at home in a UEFA Nations League encounter on 14 November.
• Jonas Hofmann has been sidelined since 11 November because of a hamstring injury he suffered in Germany's 1-0 friendly win against the Czech Republic.
• Nico Elvedi has been out since 29 November due to a muscle injury.
• Ramy Bensebaini has missed the last five games due to illness.
• Andreas Poulsen (out since 15 July, shoulder) is still awaiting his first appearance of the season, although he was an unused substitute on Matchdays 4 and 5 and at the weekend.