Borussia Mönchengladbach are top of Group J, level on points with Roma and one ahead of Matchday 6 visitors İstanbul Başakşehir.
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Borussia Mönchengladbach have recovered impressively from a false start and go into Matchday 6 top of Group J, level on points with Roma and one ahead of a visiting İstanbul Başakşehir side who will be hoping to end their hosts' campaign as it began with a shock home defeat.
• Mönchengladbach were beaten 4-0 at home by Austrian group stage debutants Wolfsberg on Matchday 1, but thanks to a penchant for scoring vital late goals they have got progressively better in each subsequent game, a revenge win in Austria on Matchday 5 (1-0) hoisting them into pole position at the top of the group thanks to their head-to-head advantage over Roma (1-1 a, 2-1 h). İstanbul Başakşehir missed a chance to seal qualification when they lost 0-3 at home to the Italian side last time out, having temporarily gone top with back-to-back wins over Wolfsberg.
• The German side will be through to the round of 32 if they avoid defeat, ensuring first place with a victory, and will still progress with a loss if Roma are defeated at home by Wolfsberg. The equation for İstanbul Başakşehir is simple: they need to win to go through.
• The teams shared the points on Matchday 2 in their first competitive meeting, Edin Višća giving İstanbul Başakşehir the lead early in the second half only for Patrick Herrmann to make the final score 1-1 with an added-time equaliser.
• Gladbach had only faced Turkish opponents twice before this season, losing 2-4 at home to Fenerbahçe in the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League group stage but winning the return 3-0 in Istanbul on Matchday 6 to join their already-qualified hosts in the round of 32.
• İstanbul Başakşehir's only other matches against German opposition took place in the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League group stage, a 3-1 defeat in Hoffenheim followed by a 1-1 draw at home salvaged by Višća's last-ditch leveller.
• 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 Lars Stindl-inspired comeback triumph 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 Foals ended a run of six European home games without a win (D3 L3) thanks to Marcus Thuram's 95th-minute winner against Roma on Matchday 4 (2-1). It was the German side's first home win in the UEFA Europa League since they defeated Zürich 3-0 on Matchday 6 in 2014/15; their record in between was D1 L3.
• This is İstanbul Başakşehir's fifth successive European campaign, their UEFA competition bow having been made in 2015/16. They ensured a return this term by finishing second to Galatasaray in a closely fought 2018/19 Süper Lig title race.
• Home (0-1) and away (0-2) defeats by Olympiacos in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round put İstanbul Başakşehir into the UEFA Europa League group stage for the second time. Their previous campaign, in 2017/18, ended after six matches as their tally of eight points left them in third place behind Braga and Ludogorets.
• The Istanbul club have won just two of their 12 European away fixtures (D3 L7), the latest, and biggest, coming on Matchday 4 when they triumphed 3-0 at Wolfsberg, having failed to score in their previous three continental fixtures on the road – defeats at Burnley, Olympiacos and Roma.
Links and trivia
• Stefan Lainer (Mönchengladbach) and Fredrik Gulbrandsen (İstanbul Başakşehir) played together for the last three seasons at Austrian champions Salzburg, reaching the UEFA Europa League semi-finals in 2017/18.
• Lainer's next appearance in UEFA club competition will be his 50th.
• Breel Embolo (Gladbach) and Júnior Caiçara (İstanbul Başakşehir) are former Schalke team-mates.
• Other İstanbul Başakşehir players who have played in Germany are Danijel Aleksić (Greuther Fürth), Eljero Elia (Hamburg, Werder Bremen), Berkay Özcan (Stuttgart, Hamburg) and Demba Ba (Hoffenheim).
• Ba scored three goals for Hoffenheim against Mönchengladbach, all in victories – two in the Bundesliga, one in the German Cup.
• İstanbul Başakşehir's Arda Turan hit a hat-trick in Barcelona's 4-0 home win against Mönchengladbach in the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League group stage, having also scored the Catalan club's equaliser in the earlier 2-1 victory in Germany.
• Mönchengladbach retained their place at the top of the Bundesliga last weekend by coming from behind to defeat champions Bayern München 2-1 at home thanks to an added-time penalty winner from Algerian international Ramy Bensebaini, who had also scored the equaliser.
• Marco 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.
• A former midfielder who spent most of his playing career at Galatasaray, with whom he won seven Turkish league titles plus the UEFA Cup/UEFA Super Cup double in 2000, Okan Buruk also helped Turkey to third place at the 2002 FIFA World Cup. İstanbul Başakşehir became his seventh club in as many seasons as a coach when he succeeded Beşiktaş-bound Abdullah Avcı in the summer of 2019. His profile had risen considerably a year earlier when he led unheralded Akhisar Belediyespor to Turkish Cup success with a 3-2 final victory against Fenerbahçe.