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Hamburger SV vs Borussia Dortmund: Key Matchups

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The fifth time's the charm?

1. FC Koeln v Hamburger SV - Bundesliga Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Bongarts/Getty Images

After an important win in the Champions League on Wednesday against Sporting CP, Borussia Dortmund will look to get back on track in the Bundesliga as well. With at least some of the injured players returning to the field, BVB will look to leave the October-depression behind and finally win a agme again.

Hamburg have problems of their own right now, being last in the Bundesliga table and having only scored two goals in nine games. Weirdly enough Dortmund are somewhat of a favorite opponent for the Rothosen. BVB have lost 5 of their last 8 games against Hamburg, with one draw and only 2 wins.

Hopefully the black and yellows will be able to reverse both of those trends on Saturday.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: HSV wingers on the counter

Hamburg will undoubtedly park the bus against Borussia Dortmund. They are a struggling team that doesn't have (or shouldn't have) the capabilities required to go beat for beat with the black and yellows on offense. Instead they will probably try to bolster their defense and score on the counter. With Filip Kostic and Nicolai Müller they have a pair of fast wingers that could potentially cause havoc on the counter.

KEY TO THE GAME: Keeping up the pressure

Dortmund will have to keep up the pressure on Hamburgs fragile defense. They have already conceded 18 goals in the Bundesliga, only Bremen and Ingolstadt have been worse. They will defend and fight with everything they have and it might get ugly during the game but Dortmund has to get creative and impose their style of football.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Filip Kostic

Honestly it is a bit difficult to chose a player from Hamburg this season. Most of them, while talented have under-performed severely. The only decent player so far, the young American Bobby Wood, has to sit out because of a stupid elbow-blow last week against Cologne.

Kostic is a fast winger that can deliver a dangerous cross from the outside or cut inside and finish himself. He was one of the most sought-after players this summer after being arguably the best player in Stuttgart's dismal campaign last season. HSV fans haven't seen much of what made him so dangerous last year but it is still in him....somewhere.

PROJECTED LINEUP:

  • Formation: 4-2-3-1
  • Goaltender: René Adler
  • Defenders: Douglas Santos, Johan Djourou, Gideon Jung, Ashton Götz
  • Midfielders: Lewis Holtby, Gotoku Sakai - Filip Kostic, Michael Gregoritsch, Nicolai Müller
  • Forward: Pierre-Michel Lasogga

PREDICTION: 3-0 Dortmund

This will be the game where Dortmund will finally break out of their slump and get three points after 4 consecutive games without a win in the Bundesliga. Hamburg is in a downward spiral (well they've been in one since 2011) and even though they have somehow always been resilient when they had to play Dortmund, a BVB-side that is getting healthier by the day should be able to win. As an even bigger sign of a "restart" to the season I predict Götze, Aubameyang and Schürrle to be the scorers.