Borussia Dortmund will look to recapture their league form Saturday as they head to the Audi Sportpark to take on a winless Ingolstadt.
Ingolstadt drew their opening day fixture with Hamburg before proceeding to lose each of their next five matches, scoring only three goals along the way. The opponent could not come at a better time for a banged up BVB side, with Marco Reus (groin), Andre Schurrle (knee), Sven Bender (ankle), Marcel Schmelzer (muscle tear), Raphael Guerrero (thigh tear) and Gonzalo Castro (groin) all sidelined with injury.
After a hard-fought draw with Hertha Berlin and a nail-biting victory over Sporting Lisbon in Portugal, Dortmund will relish a tie with a team which hasn’t won a match all year. While some (myself included) predicted that Ingolstadt would build on their surprise performance last year, they have in fact regressed and could be looking at a trip back to the 2. Bundesliga if things don’t improve.
Most of the production for the Billy Goat’s anemic offense has come from Austrian striker Lukas Hinterseer. Hinterseer has three of his side’s four goals this season, including a penalty last week against Cologne.
Dortmund is looking to snap a two-match winless streak in the league and will look to continue the form they flashed in the first half of their midweek Champions League tie. Crisp and poised, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Julian Weigl tallied goals in one of the better halves of football Dortmund have turned in lately. Lisbon clawed back in the second 45, making for a nervy finish for fans of the Black and Yellows but they escaped with a win.
The competition will likely not be as stiff Saturday, and Ousmane Dembele, Aubameyang and Weigl a chance to build on their good performances midweek. I would expect a similar lineup to what we saw against Lisbon, with a few tweaks. This projected lineup posted on Bundesliga.com today makes some sense.
Piszczek Sokratis Bartra Passlack
Pulisic Götze Sahin Dembele
I’m not thrilled about the idea of Sahin lining up in midfield but I doubt we’ll see Shinji Kagawa after he went a full 90 minutes on Tuesday. This is still a lineup which should be more than capable of taking all three points.
Prediction: This is a pretty straightforward match for Dortmund but while Ingolstadt has looked poor thus far, the potential exists for them to put up a fight. This is especially true given the number of injuries BVB have piling up right now. That being said, this is the kind of backline that players with the skill of Auba and Dembele can exploit with their pace and Ingolstadt has had trouble creating much of anything offensively. All things considered, Dortmund should be able to parlay the momentum they picked up in Portugal into a league victory.
Dortmund 3-Ingolstadt 1