Image courtesy of Spox.com
One of the most baffling things about Gladbach is that they're arguably one of the best-run clubs in the league, with one of the best managers in the Bundesliga, in Lucien Favre, currently plying his trade there.
This makes them predictable in the sense that they should do well when left to their own devices, over the course of a season, but as we know fine well in football, very few clubs are left in peace. And as we saw last season, without Marco Reus or Dante, the club simply fell apart. Yet, this season will be different.
For the first time since the fire sale of last summer, Favre's side have been able to run through a transfer window on their own terms, selling players they feel comfortable letting go, in the shape of veteran striker Mike Hanke and Igor de Camargo, while spending time on the players they chose to bring in, such as Max Kruse and Raffael.
A stark contrast to the quick fixes of Luke de Jong or Granit Xhaka, who were initially brought in to help tackle the immediate danger of a squad without its backbone any longer, but ultimately failed to live up to their promise, Kruse plays like a Gladbach player ought to, while Raffael offers a similar level of expertise in a league he knows so well.
The one factor that gets in the way of this prediction is simply that of the competition around Gladbach at the moment, with the likes of Leverkusen, Schalke and Frankfurt all offering larger squads and budgets to the same goals.
Yet, in Favre we trust for that fourth Champions League spot.