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Match Preview: VfL Wolfsburg vs Borussia Dortmund

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Finally, the Bundesliga is back!

Borussia Dortmund v VfL Wolfsburg - Bundesliga Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund will start their quest to hopefully dethrone Bayern Munich as the champions with an away game in Wolfsburg. The black and yellows will need to overcome a plethora of injuries and a quite eventful and distracting offseason to secure the first three points of the season.

BVB-fans still don’t really know what to expect from their team this season. On one hand the team should have improved with the additions of Dahoud, Toprak, Zagadou and Philipp, and the simple fact that a relatively young team has developed and gotten more experienced. On the other hand Dortmund went through a coaching change and of course there is still the Dembélé-situation to sort out.

An encouraging performance against Bayern in the Supercup and an easy victory in the DFB Cup against 1.FC Rielasingen-Arlen did appease the concerns of a fanbase that has high expectations to some degree. Nevertheless the team will have to continue to improve if they want to reach their lofty goals.

The wolves look to bounce back from a disastrous season that saw them finish 16th and having the unfortunate “honor” of playing the relegation playoff. Wolfsburg managed to stay in the Bundesliga but battling relegation is not exactly what the VW-supported club is aiming for.

Looking to improve they made several moves in the transfer market, with the most high profile acquisition surely being young American defender John Anthony Brooks. Unfortunately Brooks picked up an injury and will miss up to three months.

Since it’s the first game of the season we will have no idea what to expect from Wolfsburg. They do have a somewhat talented team at their disposal, although they collectively under-performed last season with Mario Gomez being the only notable exception from that rule. Sokratis and Bartra will have to pay close attention to the savvy striker or he could ruin BVB’s start almost by himself.

Lineup

The projected lineup from BVB themselves is pretty much what you can expect in the first game simply because coach Bosz doesn’t have much wiggle room considering the injuries.

Sokratis/Bartra is probably the best center back combination that we have right now until Toprak settles in. The left back position remains an issue with both Schmelzer and Guerreiro injured. Until one of them can play again we will probably see some sort of combination of Zagadou and Passlack on the left side of the defense.

Interestingly during yesterdays training session Mario Götze played with the first team while Dahoud was playing with the second team during a practice match. This could mean that Götze starts ahead of Dahoud.

Being the only available wingers, predicting Philipp and Pulisic as starters isn’t exactly a surprise.

Prediction: 3-1 BVB

It’s tough to predict any game and even more so at the start of the season when we don’t really know what to expect from both teams. With Schmelzer, Reus, Guerreiro, Weigl, Schürrle and Dembélé, Dortmund is missing quite a bit of star power but I’m still confident that we can get the first victory of the season.