After an agonizingly long summer, football is returning to the Westfalenstadion. Borussia Dortmund will face FC Bayern Münich in the DFL-Supercup. This will be Dortmund’s first true test of the season, as they look to claim an early victory, and perhaps a little vengeance, against last year’s Bundesliga Champions. It’s also a chance to raise our Supercup win streak against Bayern to 3, after consecutive victories in 2013 and 2014.
No matter what happens tomorrow, there will be no shortage of emotion at the Westfalenstadion. Tomorrow will mark the return of Mario Götze and Mats Hummels to Dortmund: Mario will be making his first appearance in a Yellow Shirt in 3 years, while Mats will be making his first appearance in a Red Shirt, after 8 years in yellow. One thing’s for sure: the Südtribune will have a lot to say to those two.
As always against Bayern, this won’t be easy. Bayern may be significantly weakened by injuries (Badstuber, Boateng, Sanches, Robben), and they haven’t really impressed during preseason. Despite those four absences, there’s still plenty of talent to go around from the Bavarians. Thomas Tuchel’s side will have to be at their very best when the whistle blows.
BVB Projected Lineup (According to Kicker): Bürki; Passlack, Sokratis, Bartra, Schmelzer; Castro, Rode; Dembélé, Götze, Schürrle; Aubameyang.
FCB Projected Lineup (According to Kicker): Neuer; Lahm, J. Martínez, Hummels, Alaba; Kimmich, Vidal, Thiago; Müller, Ribéry; Lewandowski.
Some may look at a Dortmund side that’s weakened from the losses of Gündogan, Mkhitaryan, and Hummels, and think, “How can this team compete against Bayern?” I look at that Bayern back four and our front four, and I think, “With pace.” Schürrle, Dembélé, and Aubameyang all have tons of speed, whereas Lahm, Martínez, and Hummels, well, don’t. Considering that Bayern tend to have their centre-backs drift forward and control play, there should be plenty of opportunities to catch them with long balls over the top.
It is my opinion that, in order to beat Bayern, you have to put pressure on those defenders. They like to pass the ball around the back and drift forward. If you can get into passing lanes, they will turn it over. To see how this can be achieved, I’d recommend watching the second 45 minutes of Bayern’s away leg against Juventus in the Champions League Round of 16, when Juventus managed to strike twice off of turnovers from Bayern defenders. If Dortmund can replicate that level of pressure, and maintain a high work rate for 90 minutes, then we could see some fireworks tomorrow.
Frankly, I doubt that Dortmund’s defense will be able to keep Bayern off the board, so the Daggers (Dembélé, Auba, Götze, [Reus, when he’s fit], Schürrle? Anybody?) better be ready to bring it.
Predicted Final Score: Borussia Dortmund 3: Bayern Münich 2.