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Sports

Borussia Moenchengladbach

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If young Marco Marin can step up his game for Moenchengladbach, he could go national

Moenchengladbach easily won the second division last season, and the club has a long and storied history in the German top flight. So they'll be aiming not just to survive but to do some damage, right?

Wrong.

"We're newly promoted," coach Jos Luhukay has said. "It would shear idiocy to talk about anything more than staying up."

Talk about low expectations.

The squad is full of quality -- from veteran German national striker Oliver Neuville to teenager Marco Marin, one of the league's fastest players, who came within a whisker of playing for Germany at this summer's Euro. They've also unloaded some deadwood in the off-season, and picked up a useful acquisition in forward Karim Matmour.

But as Moenchengladbach fans know only too well, there's a big difference between the first and second divisions, and the squad may have trouble adjusting mentally to the fact that they're no longer one of the biggest and best teams in their new league. If they find their feet, though, they should be able to stay up.

Major arrivals: Karim Matmour, Gal Alberman, Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker, Jean-Sebastien Jaures

Major departures: Nando Rafael, Ze Antonio, Kasper Boegelund, Eugen Polanski