Borussia Dortmund will look to bounce back to winning ways as they lock horns with table-toppers Borussia Monchengladbach in the Borussia derby on Saturday.
While Bayern Munich face off FC Augsburg derby on Saturday, Borussia Dortmund will also looking to recover from their terrible run of form when they meet Borussia Monchengladbach in the Borussia derby in tomorrow’s topspiel.
It promises to be a fascinating contest as Gladbach have historically been a bogey team for Dortmund. Yet, they are the ones on the ascendancy prior to this contest. In fact, the Foals are leading the Bundesliga table with 16 points on the board, leading their weekend opponent by four points.
That means the hosts won’t be able to overtake them even if they secure a victory tomorrow. Nonetheless, it’s a must-win game for Dortmund following a run of three winless matches. As a result, the Black and Yellows are currently dawdling in mid-table.
Gladbach, in contrast, have won all of their last four matches in Bundesliga. But, things are always tricky when visiting the Signal Iduna Park, where Dortmund have lost just once under the leadership of current head coach Lucien Favre, who managed Gladbach from 2011 to 2015.
And here, at the Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over these two sides ahead of the fascinating contest in Bundesliga tomorrow.
Team News & Tactics
Favre won’t make the mistake of fielding a B team against Gladbach this weekend. That means Jadon Sancho is expected to return at right-wing, at the expense of Thorgan Hazard. Lukasz Piszczek is likely to make way for Achraf Hakimi at right-back. The Moroccan international started as a winger against Freiburg in the last game.
Dortmund have recently been boosted by the contract extension of Raphael Guerreiro. The Portuguese international is tipped to start at left-back, with Julian Brandt operating further forward. It will be interesting to see how these players combine on the left flank.
Marco Reus, meanwhile, will retain his place in the attacking midfield slot. But, he will not be partnered by his best-mate Mario Gotze anymore as the German international is likely to make way for Paco Alcacer. The Spaniard will spearhead the Dortmund attack this weekend.
Elsewhere, the central defensive pairing of Mats Hummels and Manuel Akanji will remain unchanged. As for Roman Burki, he, too, will continue to start ahead of Marwin Hitz in between the sticks. And finally, in midfield, Axel Witsel will take charge of the double-pivot, alongside Thomas Delaney.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Burki; Hakimi, Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro; Witsel, Delaney; Sancho, Reus, Brandt; Alcacer
Gladbach coach Marco Rose, unfortunately, has a host of players ruled out with injury, including defensive stalwart Matthias Ginter. The ex-Dortmund star could be replaced by new signing Ramy Bensebaini, due to no real alternatives. Bensebaini will be partnered by the ever-present figure of Nico Elvedi at the heart of the four-man backline.
Stefan Lainer, meanwhile, is a doubt going into this fixture. His potential absence could serve as a massive blow for Gladbach. In the meantime, we expect Tony Jantschke to replace him at right-back, while Oscar Wendt is a guaranteed starter on the opposite flank.
The Gladbach midfield will be led by Denis Zakaria, who has already raised some eyebrows with his blazing performances this season. He is, in fact, reportedly courted by Borussia Dortmund, meaning the Swiss international will be desperate to impress at the Signal Iduna Park.
Zakaria will be partnered by Christoph Kramer in the double-pivot while Laszlo Benes will operate as the lone attacking midfielder. He might occasionally drop back during defensive phases.
The Gladbach attack will be led by the prolific figure of Alassane Plea. The Frenchman has enjoyed an impressive resurgence and will be supported by the wide attacking duo of Breel Embolo and Marcus Thuram, both of whom have enjoyed a strong start to the campaign after joining Gladbach in the summer.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Sommer; Jantschke, Elvedi, Bensebaini, Wendt; Kramer, Zakaria; Thuram, Benes, Embolo; Plea
- Dortmund have won each of their previous eight Bundesliga meetings with Gladbach. Neither side had ever won as many consecutive games in this fixture before.
- Dortmund’s winning streak against Gladbach is longer than against any other current Bundesliga side.
- None of the previous 46 competitive meetings between Dortmund and Gladbach have ended goalless. The last time these two sides played out a scoreless draw was back in April 1994, in Monchengladbach.
- Dortmund have drawn each of their previous three Bundesliga matches with a 2-2 scoreline, having initially led 2-1.
- Dortmund have dropped 15 points from winning positions in 2019 – only Hoffenheim and Dusseldorf have lost more in the Bundesliga. They have thrown away six points alone in the last three games.
Player to Watch
Despite Dortmund’s ongoing rough patch, one player who has managed to perform consistently is Achraf Hakimi. The right-back, on loan from Real Madrid until next summer, has impressed the onlookers with his offensive prowess and versatility.
Hakimi’s pace on the break coupled with his ability to influence the attack and combine with teammates in the final third has added a new dimension to Dortmund’s counter-attacking game. And though the Moroccan will likely operate as a right-back tomorrow, his combination with Sancho could cause real problems for the Gladbach defence.
Moreover, the 20-year-old is also capable of whipping in crosses into the box or make intricate cutbacks – making it difficult for defenders to keep tabs on him. But, it is something the Foals must do if they are to salvage all three points against Die Schwarzgelben.
Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Borussia Monchengladbach
Despite Gladbach’s excellent form coming into this fixture, Dortmund’s offensive prowess coupled with their intricate teamwork could prove too much for the visitors to handle. It’s fair to point out that the last season’s runners-up have an incredible record at home, which is likely to remain intact by the end of this week’s round of fixture.