The Rückrunde is upon us and the FTW staff have picked the matches they are most excited for this year. Sound off in the comments section for the games you all are most hyped about.
Schalke 04 4/8
The game I’m most excited for in the second half of the season is the Schalke away game. The Revierderby is always thrilling, nerve-wracking, and important, no matter the league position. We’ve got a chance to do the double over our fierce rivals, something we have not done since the 2011-2012 season. However, it won’t be easy, as Schalke’s young talent is starting to flourish in the first team. Leroy Sane, Max Meyer, and Leon Goretzka are all future superstars, and will all likely leave Schalke if they can’t manage to beat and finish ahead of their biggest rival. On the other hand, it would be very impressive if first year coach Thomas Tuchel could do the double. With our position as second in the league pretty much solidified, beating Schalke twice in a season would make Tuchel’s first year at BVB that much more special.
- Mark Chadwick(dortmundusa)
FC Porto 2/18
Borussia Dortmund vs. FC Porto in the second round of the Europa League offers something priceless in a football match, passion. This is the type of match that leaves the pitch soaked in sweat and earns the fluorescent nostalgia of great European nights.
Both teams are in this competition to win it, and both teams are playing with a chip on their shoulder. Dortmund will want to redeem themselves after a strong start to their Europa League campaign went flat, losing their last two games and conceding group C to Russian Premiere side FC Krasnodar. FC Porto has fallen farther, getting knocked out of the Champions League at the last minute by Dynamo Kiev; they surely see the Europa League as bitter consolation, with the only viable option to be to win it. The icing on the cake, is that these two big-name teams know that their respective points will be most effectively proven with a strong win over the other, so expect both to go out swinging.
With the talent and prestige that these two teams have, this match could easily be a Champions League Quarter-final, a fact that will only serve to make the tensions higher and the game more entertaining.
- Angelo Sylvester(angelo1862)
Bayern Munich 3/5
Maybe it's a cliché, but that BVB-Bayern match at home in March is the one I'm looking forward to. It comes just about halfway into the back portion of the Bundesliga season, and is full of good storylines to follow. Will the league be sewn up at that point, or will a win for Dortmund keep the Meisterschale (which is the best name of any trophy, by the way) within reach? Can Dortmund avenge the 5-1 thrashing they got in Bavaria earlier in the season? Will Pep's future with Bayern cause any distractions for the club as they try to stroll to another title?
But it's more than simply chasing a title. The championship could very well be out of reach by that point in the season anyway. It's more about being an underdog and beating the best around. Dortmund isn't an underdog to many anymore, but Bayern is still the top dog, and nothing would please me more than to gut them in Westfalen. I want to see 75,000 in yellow and black bellowing their hearts out and their lungs in, and I want to see Bayern go down. #ScrewLederhosen
- Adam Whittaker Snavely
Dortmund are only eight points behind in the Bundesliga table and are in position to make a second half charge towards the title. The Munich game will wrap up "Revenge Week" for Dortmund. Following what should be a midweek win at Darmstadt, making amends for a first-half tie at the Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund will head home to face Bayern Munich in what could be a crucial game in the standings. Dortmund suffered a staggering 5-1 defeat to Bayern at the Allianz back in early October, and will look to put that result behind them in the second leg with the Bavarians. With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's continued goal outburst this season, Roman Burki and the Dortmund backline will shut down Robert Lewandowski and Munich in a 2-0 victory. The result will bring Dortmund within five points of the top spot and put them in a position to steal the title down the stretch.
- Dan Shulman
Bayer Leverkusen 2/21
The game I am most looking forward to it against Roger Schmidts men. Levekusen have had a good run over the last few years, having qualified for the champions league and finishing in the top four in the Bundesliga. With an increasingly higher quality team, Hakan Chanaloglu, Chicharito, Bellarabi, Kramer and Brandt to name a few, have all been developing very well over the past few years, each honing in on their individual craft.
It will be an interesting match up against us. The last time we met, we scored three goals against them allowing none of their attacks to come to fruition. That said, at full force they stand a chances of making this game really interesting and I look forward to seeing two high pressing teams battle it out.
- Marco Lange
It may be hard to live through one of BVBs most dramatic finishes of all time, but when the Wolves come to Signal Iduna Park you can be sure as hell they are gonna be looking for revenge. With this game being towards the end of the season it could have some serious table implications, with Wolfsburg looking to secure a top 4 spot in a super competitive year and us looking to chase Bayern at the top. Wolfsburg proved in our last game, that even without Kevin De Bruyne they are still a force to be reckoned with, with Julian Draxler being a constant threat all season. Also a interesting thing to keep an eye on, will be Aubameyang chasing the Kicker Torjägerkanone(top scorer) for the season as well as maybe even making a run at Gerd Müller's single season scoring record of 40 goals.
- Brian Meyers (bmeyers617)