Borussia Dortmund will be looking to bounce back from their defeat to Bayern Munich when they take on VfL Bochum on Saturday.

There is no end in sight for Borussia Dortmund’s inconsistencies this season. Coming into the season as one of the favourites to lift the Bundesliga and finally put an end to Bayern Munich’s sheer dominance over German football, the Black and Yellows have not been able to live up to the expectations for yet another season.

New coach Marco Rose has been extremely unfortunate with injuries, but his side has also massively underperformed against any quality side. It was evident in Dortmund’s 3-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in Der Klassiker last weekend, with the visitors succumbing to a defeat despite a valiant second-half display.

Since the defeat, Dortmund did take part in a fundraiser friendly against Dynamo Kyiv in midweek. The Ruhrpott giants lost the game 3-2, but there were huge positives, with two of their most impressive youth prospects in Jamie Bynoe-Gittens and Tom Rothe finding the back of the net.

The two youngsters could in action this weekend as Borussia Dortmund play hosts to VfL Bochum. With Bayern already securing the league title, it is a dead rubber affair for the home side, but for the visitors, a win could help them guarantee safety.

With no Schalke in the first division, Bochum are currently Dortmund’s closest rivals as both the clubs stem from the same region. Thomas Reis’s men did manage to hold Dortmund to a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture, and they will be hoping for a similar outcome in front of a packed Signal Iduna Park this weekend.

Team News & Tactics

Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund are missing a host of star players as ever, with the list of absentees being led by Gregor Kobel, Mats Hummels, Giovanni Reyna, Mahmoud Dahoud, Mateu Morey, Thomas Meunier, Soumaila Coulibaly, Marcel Schmelzer and Steffen Tigges.

Emre Can has been ruled out of the clash as well due to a yellow card suspension. Fortunately for Dortmund, it appears Axel Witsel has made a swift recovery and could be in contention for a start alongside Jude Bellingham in the double-pivot.

There should not be any changes defensively, with Tom Rothe once again settling for a place on the bench despite his promising performances. Raphael Guerreiro could thus continue at left-back, with Marius Wolf operating on the opposite flank, providing cover for the centre-backs Manuel Akanji and Dan-Axel Zagadou.

Things get interesting in the attacking department. Julian Brandt is a doubt heading into this encounter, while Marco Rose is unlikely to hand Reinier another start following his disastrous display against Bayern Munich.

Donyell Malen appears to have returned from his injury but is unlikely to start as well. As such, we could potentially witness Jamie Bynoe-Gittens receiving his maiden start for Dortmund on the left flank.

The former Manchester City starlet should form Dortmund’s creative trifecta alongside Marco Reus and Thorgan Hazard as they look to provide the supply for star striker Erling Haaland.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Hitz; Wolf, Akanji, Zagadou, Guerreiro; Bellingham, Witsel; Hazard, Reus, Bynoe-Gittens; Haaland

VfL Bochum

Konstantinos Stafylidis is the only important player ruled out due to suspension for VfL Bochum heading into this game, so Thomas Reis will have the luxury of continuing with his 4-1-4-1 setup and a deep defensive line that will look to frustrate the opposition attack.

Erhan Masovic had produced a defensive masterclass in the reverse fixture between these two sides. But this time around, the onus will be on Armel Bella-Kotchap and Maxim Leitsch to repeat that valiant effort, with additional support from full-backs Cristian Gamboa and Danilo Soares.

Bochum have equally competent midfielders, led by captain Anthony Losilla. Former Dortmund youth product Patrick Osterhage and Elvis Rexhbecaj should form the remainder of the second line of press, as they look to break up the opposition’s approach play.

In the attack, Soares will be given the license to make marauding runs into the final third. Gerrit Holtmann and Simon Zoller should serve as the main creative players, though, offering support to the main number nine in Sebastian Polter, who has been in excellent form this season.

Probable Lineup (4-1-4-1): Riemann; Gamboa, Bella-Kotchap, Leitsch, Soares; Losilla; Holtmann, Osterhage, Rexbecaj, Zoller; Polter

Key Stats

  • Erling Haaland has scored against 17 of the 20 teams he has faced in the Bundesliga. Only VfB Stuttgart, Arminia Bielefeld and Bochum have kept him out.
  • Jude Bellingham is third league-wide for won duels (382) and intensive runs (2402).
  • Borussia Dortmund have won 12 and lost three at the Signal Iduna Park in 2021/22. They are this season’s second-best home team (36 points), behind Bayern (40 pts.).
  • Sebastian Polter was on target in the reverse fixture. He has evenly split his eight goals for the season between home and away games.
  • Bochum have lost their last eight top-flight trips to Borussia Dortmund, dating back to a 1-0 win on 13 September 1998.

Player to Watch

Jamie Bynoe-Gittens

Jamie Bynoe-Gittens is gunning for a start this weekend following a rather impressive came against Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga last weekend. The youngster is already regarded as the “next Jadon Sancho” due to his quick feet and the ability to dribble past players. They both hail from the same academy as well.

Many expect Bynoe-Gittens to start this game. He is, after all, a natural winger who can use his pace and trickery to dribble past players and provide dangerous crosses into the box. It is something Dortmund have severely lacked, especially following the departure of Sancho last summer.

Hence, Bynoe-Gittens’s performance against Bochum could be vital as the youngster looks to fast-track his progression and become a key member of the first team in the coming season.

Prediction

Borussia Dortmund 2-1 VfL Bochum

VfL Bochum are one of the strongest defensive sides in the league and are usually very hard to break down. Their defensive resilience could do them some favours against the mighty Dortmund frontline, but they may have difficulties keeping up with the likes of Erling Haaland, Marco Reus and Jamie Bynoe-Gittens.

And with added home support, Borussia Dortmund remain the undisputed favourites to seal a victory in this encounter, although it won’t be surprising to see the home side once again fail to keep a clean sheet.

Leave A Comment...

*