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Key Matchups: Dortmund vs Hoffenheim

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Another big match in the Bundesliga for BVB.

Borussia Dortmund v 1899 Hoffenheim - Bundesliga Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images

When the fixtures were first selected for this Bundesliga season, no one would’ve believed that the team higher in the table for this match-up would be Hoffenheim. But that’s where we are at the moment. Hoffenheim and Real Madrid are the only two teams left unbeaten in the Top 5 European leagues.

If not for Leipzig, Hoffenheim would probably be considered the biggest surprise in German football so far. And I guess we can’t forget about Frankfurt either.

But no matter the scene before the game, Dortmund can leapfrog Hoffenheim if they’re victorious against Julian Nagelsmann’s team.

What To Watch For

We thought the injury crisis was going away...how wrong we were.

Unfortunately one of the main things to watch for here is just who is going to actually be available for Dortmund. Sokratis, Castro, and Rode all picked up injuries against Cologne. Also injured and possibly unavailable are Piszczek, Guerreiro, Kagawa, Durm and Bartra. And we know we’ll be without Burki, Subotic, and Sahin.

With so many injury questions, the lineup for Dortmund could be quite patchwork.

Projected Lineup

Oh man, I really have no idea. Who knows who out of all those players will actually be healthy enough on Friday to give it a go. I doubt Thomas Tuchel knows either. There will be quite a few fitness tests to be taken pre-match.

Here’s the lineup Dortmund’s Twitter account is projecting:

Attacking-wise we aren’t too shorthanded, but a Bender-Ginter partnership in central defense would be worrying. Especially when you consider that Bender hasn’t played since the Olympics!

If Bartra or Sokratis are okay and can start, that’s a massive boost for the squad. Otherwise it could be a bit helter-skelter at the back.

Prediction

There are going to be a lot of goals in this game. Dortmund’s defense will cede chances to Hoffenheim, but our attackers are also too good to not wreak havoc on the Hoffenheim defense.

Aubameyang didn’t even score last game! I think it’s a safe bet to think he’ll get back to his ways. I foresee a brace in his near future.

Maybe my hope is the result of naivete, or maybe this is the win we need to really get our season underway.

I’m going to go for a 4-2 Dortmund win.