Cologne (dpa) – In the midst of the Champions League frenzy, there is an acute risk of crisis. Borussia Mönchengladbach’s coach Marco Rose seems to be struggling to fully concentrate on Saturday’s prestige game (3.30pm / Sky) despite the important sporting Rhine derby at 1. FC Köln.
“We look forward to it and yet it is now important that we focus on the upcoming tasks, so on Cologne at the weekend,” Rose warned in connection with Champions League opponents Real Madrid and Inter Milan, his Borussia on Thursday evening. was signed.
It seemed to the ambitious coach in recent days in the Niederrhein region almost to focus on the Champions League. Atypical for the region, the derby has dwindled in the minds of many. This is also due to the fact that the game takes place for the second time this year with almost no spectators. Due to the high number of new corona infections in Cologne, no spectators are allowed to attend FC’s second home game this season before the Cologne health department allowed a partial opening with 300 fans on Friday evening.
Sports director Horst Heldt therefore also had to emphasize the importance of the game in Cologne. “Even if we had to play without a spectator: a derby is a derby,” Heldt said even before the authorities made the first decision on Friday not to allow spectators in. Already in March, at the first Bundesliga football match without spectators in Borussia Park, there was a “surreal” atmosphere, according to Gladbach’s midfielder Christoph Kramer.
“There are usually so many emotions around the derby, even in the days before, which are then transferred to the field. This game lives mainly from the atmosphere, the fans are the icing on the cake,” he said. World champion from 2014 the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger”: “Of course this mood is lacking, this time the game does not have this blatant derby character”.
In normal times, only the sports situation would have exacerbated the derby fire. Both teams are still without a win this season, the Cologne team was there for twelve league matches in all seasons. Above all, Borussia is under pressure. Also this season, Rose and his team want to reach at least fourth place again and thus qualify for the Champions League – the Gladbach team should now be winning. Only one point from the matches in Dortmund (0: 3) and against Union Berlin (1: 1) is too little for the claims of the fourth of last year.
Borussia coach Rose is still calm. “Are we satisfied with the point we got? No. Can we play better football? Yes. Did we play really bad? No,” Rose said calmly before the derby with unusual circumstances. Sports director Max Eberl saw it in the same way, but also said: “In Cologne, only the result counts.”
The sporting requirements at FC are significantly lower, but the long winless series and the zero-point start in the season are annoying. “The team has a bit of anger in their bones,” said coach Markus Gisdol, who – like his colleagues in Gladbach – is plagued by injuries.