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Key Matchups: Borussia Dortmund vs. Borussia Monchengladbach

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Borussia Moenchengladbach v TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - Bundesliga Photo by Maja Hitij/Bongarts/Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund looks to bounce back in a big way on Saturday when they play host to Borussia Monchengladbach.

Following an impressive win over Bayern Munich, Dortmund regressed last week, losing a tough road match to Eintracht Frankfurt, 2-1. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored an equalizer for Dortmund in the 77th minute only to be outdone two minutes later by Frankfurt’s Haris Seferovic.

Gladbach fought to a home draw against Hoffenheim, 1-1, last weekend. Mahmoud Dahoud struck first for the hosts, who led at the halftime break. Less than ten minutes into the second half, Nadiem Amiri equalized for Hoffenheim.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Through balls; Touch Passes

Gladbach is good at making space for the offense to operate. Two of its biggest threats are long through balls and quick one-touch passes in midfield. Gladbach has had bad luck in front of goal, but Dortmund’s defense will still need to stop Gladbach’s advanced ball movement in order to come out unscathed.

KEY TO THE GAME: Capitalize off set-pieces; Gaps in Midfield

The Gladbach midfield has found success on offense, but defensively they have been sparse this season. Gaps in the midfield have led to scoring chances for opponents all season and was the reason behind Hoffenheim’s equalizer last season. Dortmund will need to exploit this openness as well as capitalize off set-piece opportunities. Not just the initial direct kick, but any second or third chances as well as Gladbach has been lackadaisical in defending these.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Lars Stindl

PROJECTED LINEUP:

  • Formation: 4-2-3-1
  • Goalkeeper: Yann Sommer
  • Defenders: Oscar Wendt, Jannik Vestergaard, Andreas Christensen, Nico Elvedi
  • Midfielders: Christoph Kramer, Tobias Strobl; Lars Stindl, Mahmoud Dahoud, Fabian Johnson
  • Forwards: Raffael

PREDICTION: Dortmund 2-0

Dortmund endured a tough loss last weekend but are determined to get back into the title picture this weekend. A win by two goals will make up for last weekend’s loss and give Dortmund confidence. Look for Marco Reus to get on the board this week.