In what looks on paper to be a relatively easy game for the hosts, Dortmund welcome Ingolstadt to the Westfalenstadion for the first time in the Bavarian club's small history. With this being Ingolstadt's 11th year of existence and their first year in the German top flight, they've been relatively successful, currently sitting in 10th place.
To tell you a little bit about our opponent, they're basically the team that tries to work out nil nil draws. Their defense has only conceded 18 goals in 18 games this season, which is tied for second best in the league, behind Bayern. However, defense isn't exactly the best form of offense for this team, as they've only scored 12 goals, a tally that's six goals below the next lowest scoring team.
In the Hinrunde, we dismantled them 4-0 on the road, despite going into halftime at 0-0. We were able to create a lot of chances throughout the game, and had trouble converting them until Ginter slotted the opener home early in the second half. Since they don't offer much of an offensive threat, they'll likely sit back and just force our attack to break them down. It's certainly a welcome task for Dortmund, who have scored 50 goals in the league this season, but it's all Ingolstadt really knows how to do.
As for Dortmund, we hope we'll see a much more in-form Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang than the last time he played. Dortmund are going to need their leading scorer to be a bit more clinical against a strong defense, because if we have trouble breaking down this defense, there likely won't be too many chances. Dortmund will also need Ilkay Gundogan and Marco Reus to be healthy, as they've both been in individual training this week nursing slight knocks. However, as Ruhr Nachrichten reported, they should be good to go.
We should see a similar line-up to the one we saw against Gladbach, with the only likely change being Shinji Kagawa coming in for Gonzalo Castro, who was less than impressive against the Foals. Bender and Schmelzer are still out, and Erik Durm probably isn't ready to start yet, which means we'll probably see Park Joo-Ho and Sokratis in the defense once again. Park will need to put in a much better performance this time around if he wants to see any playing time while Schmelzer is fit, but he shouldn't have too much to do against a non-potent Ingolstadt attack. At least I hope...
All things considered, Dortmund should be able to put a dent in Ingolstadt's defensive record. I can't see us falling to this team at home, and I'd be pretty shocked if we didn't keep a clean sheet as well. If everything is going well, we'll likely see Reus and Gundogan exit early just for caution. And if we're lucky, we might get a glimpse of the future if Christian Pulisic comes on in place of one of them.
Am I too confident? Or are we actually put on the show we expect to see? Let me know in the comments section below!