Borussia Dortmund will be planning to maintain their winning momentum when they lock horns with Fortuna Dusseldorf at home on Saturday.
Borussia Dortmund have an excellent chance of potentially overtaking Bayern Munich and FC Schalke when they play hosts to Fortuna Dusseldorf at the Signal Iduna Park tomorrow afternoon. The Black and Yellows are currently fifth in the Bundesliga table, with 23 points on the board. That means if both Bayern and Schalke fail to win this weekend, they could climb to the third position, just behind RB Leipzig.
Dortmund are coming on the back of a much-needed 2-0 win over Hertha Berlin in their last game. The victory at the Olympiastadion ended their three-game winless streak. But at the same time, things are going to be tricky against a Dusseldorf side, who have always looked potent against strong oppositions.
That being said, Dusseldorf are actually struggling this season, picking up just 12 points from their 13 games so far. They are one of the lowest-scoring teams in the division and the intensity that was evident last season has been missing.
In fact, a defeat to Dortmund this weekend would allow Hertha to get out of the relegation zone, at the expense of Dusseldorf. Hence, the visitors will be looking to salvage at least a point against Die Schwarzgelben. And here, at the Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over these two sides ahead of their match-up on Saturday.
Tactics & Team News
Lucien Favre will have to deal with the absence of Mats Hummels this weekend. The defender was awarded a red card against Hertha and will serve a suspension. He will likely be replaced by Dan-Axel Zagadou, though Leonardo Balerdi is also an option.
Favre is likely to revert to a four-man backline, meaning Lukasz Piszczek and Achraf Hakimi will act as traditional full-backs. Piszczek will return at the expense of Raphael Guerreiro, who is expected to get a breather ahead of the crucial Champions League game against Slavia Praha next week.
In midfield, Julian Weigl and Axel Witsel are guaranteed starters, especially with Thomas Delaney ruled out for the rest of the year.
Favre may also want to introduce some changes in attack, with Paco Alcacer coming in for Thorgan Hazard while Marco Reus will return to his preferred number ten role. He could be accompanied by Jadon Sancho and Julian Brandt in the creative trifecta.
Mario Gotze and Mahmoud Dahoud are additional options in midfield and attack. They could be used as substitutes as they have the flair and tenacity to make a quick difference.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Burki; Piszczek, Akanji, Zagadou, Hakimi; Weigl, Witsel; Sancho, Reus, Brandt; Alcacer
The absence of Kaan Ayhan due to suspension would serve as a massive blow Friedheim Funkel. The Dusseldorf coach will likely have to revert to a four-man backline as well, with Niko Giesselmann set to be recalled as the left-back while Mathias Zimmermann could start on the opposite flank.
The central defensive pairing will consist of Kasim Adams and Andre Hoffmann, both of who will remain busy throughout the afternoon dealing with the threat of Reus and Co.
In midfield, Markus Suttner is out with a thigh injury while Kevin Stoger is a long-term absentee. That means Alfredo Morales could occupy a more central role, alongside Adam Bodzek, who is expected to be recalled to the starting eleven.
We could also expect some drastic changes in the attack as well, with the likes of Dawid Kownacki and Oliver Fink forming the creative trio for Dusseldorf. And finally, the attack will be led by Rouwen Hennings, who is currently one of the most in-form strikers in the Bundesliga.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Steffen; Zimmermann, Hoffmann, Adams, Gießelmann; Morales, Bodzek; Zimmer, Fink, Kownacki; Hennings
- Fortuna Dusseldorf have won 15 of their last 40 Bundesliga matches against Borussia Dortmund. Fortuna haven’t defeated any other side as often in the BL.
- Borussia Dortmund are unbeaten in each of their last eight Bundesliga home games against Dusseldorf. Their last home loss against Fortuna came back in February 1986.
- The 2-1 defeat in Dusseldorf on MD16 of last season was Lucien Favre’s first Bundesliga loss in charge of Dortmund.
- Borussia Dortmund have only lost one of their last ten Bundesliga matches, although they have ten points fewer than they did after 13 games last season.
- Including last season, Borussia Dortmund have only lost one of their last 23 Bundesliga home games: a 4-2 Revierderby defeat to Schalke on MD31 of 2018-19 campaign.
Player to Watch
Paco Alcacer is tipped to make his first league start since matchday five this weekend against Fortuna Dusseldorf. The Spaniard has been extremely unlucky with injuries, but his return to full fitness would serve as a huge boost for Dortmund.
The Black and Yellows desperately lacked the presence of an out and out number nine for most part of the campaign. Alcacer’s ingenuity in the final third, in that regard, could be crucial in breaking down the Dusseldorf backline that is expected to defend in deep blocks.
It will be interesting to see as to who comes out on top between Alcacer and Hennings, who was once again the saviour when Fortuna drew with Hoffenheim in the last game.
Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Fortuna Dusseldorf
Borussia Dortmund are unlikely to find any difficulties breaking through this Dusseldorf side that is missing key players like Ayhan, Suttner and Stoger. The home side will be confident having secured a win over Hertha, and we expect them to seal all three points in front of their home fans this weekend.