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Borussia Mönchengladbach vs Barcelona, 2016 UEFA Champions League: Key Battles, What to look for

A few talking points ahead of Barça's visit to Germany for a big Champions League game

Maja Hitij/Getty Images

After the brilliance of the win against Sporting Gijón in Asturias over the weekend, Luis Enrique takes his men in Blaugrana to Germany for a game against the hugely impressive Borussia Mönchengladbach. After much success under Lucien Favre, Andre Schubert has taken the baton from his predecessor and ran with it. It will be a particularly poignant occasion for Marc-André ter Stegen - returning to "the club of my (his) heart".

Gladbach will pose a much bigger and more incisive threat than Celtic were in Matchday 1. They have a great record of producing upsets in big games - just ask Bayern Munich.

Missing players - Lionel Messi & Samuel Umtiti

Any team in the world would feel the absence of the best player of his generation and one of the best in the history of the beautiful game. That said, Neymar and Luis Suarez aren't a bad duo to step up and take Messi's mantle and drive the team to another victory. In spite of how ludicrous it might sound at first reading, the loss of Samuel Umtiti could be a bigger blow to the side for this game. With the pace and power of Gladbach, Umtiti would have been a great option in defence alongside Gerard Piqué. The German side will look to launch incisive counter-attacks with the pace they have in the likes of André Hahn and Ibrahima Traoré. Thorgan Hazard, Lars Stindl and Raffael, a brilliant forward, bring guile to their side. Hazard has been in great form while Stindl has a penchant for the spectacular from outside the box. Raffael has struggled with a knock and could be ruled out of this game. While Barça should be able to cover for the absence of Messi, Umtiti's loss could be sorely felt considering the characteristics of Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Inexperience of Borussia Mönchengladbach?

As good as Gladbach have been, having a considerable number of young players in a line-up could have its difficulties and drawbacks. Nico Elvedi and Chelsea loanee Andreas Christensen have impressed viewers with their play since breaking into the Gladbach first team. Mahmoud Dahoud is an incredible talent who has impressed in spades since making his Bundesliga bow. The key to what Gladbach have in bedding in all these young players is their coach, Andre Schubert, who has implemented an effective tactical system which relies on energy and discipline. Having young players, in Gladbach's case, has been a positive - their zealous enthusiasm and fearlessness bringing a dynamic sense of ambition to their play. This intensity makes Gladbach a great team to watch and a dangerous opponent for Barça.

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