Borussia Dortmund will be desperate to get back to winning ways when they take on Greuther Furth at Stadion am Laubenweg on Saturday.
Borussia Dortmund may emerge as the undisputed favourites to finish second in the Bundesliga this season. But following a run of two successive losses, the pressure is on Marco Rose to justify the faith shown by the board members and guide his team back to winning ways.
Despite their relatively decent record in the league, Dortmund have looked extremely inconsistent, especially against the big teams. They have looked equally baffling against lower-ranked oppositions, and their resilience could be put to the test yet again when they take on bottom club Greuther Furth on Saturday.
Furth’s relegation has been confirmed heading into this matchday, as they have secured only 18 points in the league so far. With just two matches remaining until the end of the season, the minnows will not only get relegated but are also certain to finish bottom of the league.
It is a dead-rubber affair for their esteemed opponent as well, given that they have a solid five-point lead over third-placed Bayer Leverkusen. Although the second spot is not mathematically guaranteed, a win in one of the two remaining fixtures could be enough to seal the runner-up place in the Bundesliga.
The two teams will largely play for pride when they lock horns on Saturday, with Greuther Furth, in particular, seeking redemption after being hammered 3-0 in the reverse fixture back in December. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over these two sides ahead of their enticing contest at Stadion am Laubenweg this weekend.
Team News & Tactics
🧐🙌 (RN+) Bei Greuther #Fürth startet Ex-#BVB-Profi Tobias #Raschl in der #Bundesliga durch. Im Interview mit @GebhardtCedric vor #SGFBVB spricht er über Vertrauen, Vater-Sohn-Gespräche und was Borussia #Dortmund besonders macht: https://t.co/MygxhLoJ54
— Ruhr Nachrichten BVB (@RNBVB) May 6, 2022
Greuther Furth coach Stefan Leitl is missing some key players heading into this contest, including Robin Kehr, Marco Meyerhofer, and Havard Nielsen while Jetro Willems is facing a suspension due to an accumulation of yellow cards.
The absence of Willems could force Leitl to deploy Luca Itter in the left wing-back role, with Simon Asta starting on the opposite flank. The two wing-backs, though, could be forced to operate in a defensive role and provide cover for the three-man backline consisting of Sebastian Griesbeck, Nick Viergever, and Maximilian Bauer.
Bauer should make the eleven thanks to Itter shifting out wide. It will be the only defensive change for a Greuther Furth side coming on the back of a 1-1 draw with Union Berlin.
One of the players who did feature in that game was Tobias Raschl. The young midfielder is currently on loan from Dortmund. He will relish the opportunity to play against his parent club, as he looks to form the double pivot alongside Max Christiansen.
Timothy Tillman should be shifted to the number ten role. He will play a key role in providing creative support to the two central strikers in Jamie Leweling and Branimir Hrgota.
Probable Lineup (5-2-1-2): Linde; Asta, Griesbeck, Bauer, Viergever, Itter; Raschl, Christiansen; Tillman; Hrgota, Leweling
Borussia Dortmund’s injury crisis appears to have no end in sight. While Axel Witsel returned to full fitness last weekend, the Black and Yellows could still miss out on the services of most of their star players, with the list including players such as Mats Hummels, Gregor Kobel, Thorgan Hazard and Thomas Meunier among many others.
Even Erling Haaland is ill and remains a doubt after scoring a hat-trick in the last game. Although we do expect the Norwegian to start, Youssoufa Moukoko is an interesting alternative in case Haaland misses out.
Marco Rose confirms that Emre Can will be Borussia Dortmund's only returnee for Saturday's game against Greuther Fürth. Erling Haaland is ill and is a doubt, Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, Tom Rothe and Lion Semic will play for the U-19s this weekend #BVB
— BVB Buzz (@BVBBuzz) May 5, 2022
Marco Rose had handed youngster Jamie Bynoe-Gittens a starting opportunity in the last game. However, this time around, the Englishman, along with Tom Rothe and Lion Semic will play for the Under-19s this weekend, thus ruling them out of the contest.
As far as the starting eleven is concerned, Emre Can should occupy the right-back slot, with Manuel Akanji and Dan-Axel Zagadou operating at the heart of the Dortmund defence. Raphael Guerreiro remains a surefire starter at left-back, especially with Rothe set to play for the youth team.
With Can operating at right-back, Marius Wolf will be shifted to an attacking role. He is likely to form Dortmund’s creative trifecta alongside Marco Reus and Julian Brandt, as they look to provide support for Haaland.
Some of Dortmund’s fringe players could hope to get rare opportunities in this game as well, with Reinier Jesus, Moukoko and Marin Pongracic among the players in contention to feature as substitutes.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Hitz; Can, Akanji, Zagadou, Guerreiro; Bellingham Witsel; Wolf, Reus, Brandt; Haaland
- Furth’s Ruckrunde tally of 13 points is the club’s best half-season in its Bundesliga history. They picked up nine and 12 respectively in 2012/13, and just five in this term’s Hinrunde.
- Furth have conceded just four more goals (28) than Dortmund (24) in the second half of the season.
- Furth have now scored 26 goals, equalling their total from the whole of the 2012/13 campaign.
- Dortmund have only ever once netted more times at this stage of a season. They currently boast 80 goals from 32 matches, two shy of the tally they had in 2019/20 when they set a club record of 84 goals in the season.
- Erling Haaland scored a hat-trick in the game against Bochum last time out to take his tally to 61 goals in 65 Bundesliga games. No player has ever reached the 60-goal barrier in so few Bundesliga games, and the 21-year-old is also the youngest man to reach the milestone.
Player to Watch
Amid all the recent poor performances from Borussia Dortmund, one player who has stood out the most is Emre Can. The former Liverpool star was often derided for his lack of temperament and the tendency to make costly errors in crunch situations.
Can, though, has responded to his critics brilliantly by producing a series of top performances during the business end of the campaign. He has emerged as a rock at the back and has offered the leadership, and motivation the team desperately needed.
The German has not been shy in playing a variety of roles either, emerging as a real team player who could be vital to Dortmund’s campaign next season. And given his current form, Can will certainly make an impact against Greuther Furth in this upcoming contest.
Greuther Furth 1-3 Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund have not been in good form in recent weeks. With no end in sight for their injury crisis, they have lacked the desired quality, especially in defence, which could appear vulnerable once again this weekend. We are expecting Greuther Furth to cause problems using the offensive duo of Branimir Hrgota and Jamie Leweling.
At the same time, the Dortmund attack has been in good form, with Erling Haaland scoring five goals in his last three matches. Marco Reus and Julian Brandt have been in good form as well, and they could help Dortmund dominate this affair and breach the opposing defence to seal a relatively comfortable win.