Moenchengladbach plot great escape

BERLIN - Five-times Bundesliga champions Borussia Moenchengladbach are hoping to complete a great escape from the spectre of relegation if they can register a fourth straight win with victory over Hamburg SV on Saturday.

Anchored to the bottom of the standings for a majority of the season, Gladbach have climbed up to the relegation playoff position since Swiss coach Lucien Favre reversed the club's fortunes after taking over from Michael Frontzeck in February.

Currently sitting in 16th place on 35 points on the back of three wins in a row, including a victory over new champions Borussia Dortmund, Gladbach lead 17th-placed Eintracht Frankfurt by one point with bottom side St Pauli already relegated on 29.

Victory at Hamburg could see Gladbach avoid he drop without the need of a play-off if VfL Wolfsburg, 15th on goal difference, fail to beat Hoffenheim.

"We simply need to win our last game and everything will be good," said club top scorer Marco Reus, who has netted 10 times and is in contention for a call-up to the German national side.

"The fact that we are in the play-off spot is extremely valuable. We now want to win the last game and I am 100 percent certain we will stay up," the 21-year-old told reporters.

Gladbach, a Bundesliga powerhouse in the 1970s, have been relegated twice since the glory days but Favre said the club retained control of their future in the top flight.

"We must get all three points at Hamburg and this has been the case for every game since I arrived here," the former Hertha Berlin coach added.

"We are aware of the reality and there is no reason for euphoria. We want to win but if we lose and Frankfurt get a point at Borussia Dortmund then we are dead."


While that sequence of results may seem a nightmare scenario for Gladbach, it feels like a distant dream to Frankfurt, who had a stellar start to the season and were in seventh place at the halfway mark in December before collapsing completely.

Getting a draw or even winning at Dortmund, who will look to crown their title triumph with a victory in front of more than 80,000 home fans, is a daunting task for Christoph Daum's frustrated team.

Daum himself, who angrily accused media this week of piling pressure on his players with what he said were biased reports, knows defeat and relegation could spell an end to a Bundesliga career that once saw him poised to take the Germany job before a cocaine scandal derailed his chances.

Second-placed Bayer Leverkusen will look to seal automatic Champions League qualification with a win over Freiburg but third-placed Bayern Munich, three points behind, will be hoping Leverkusen slip up and they beat VfB Stuttgart.