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Match Preview: Borussia Dortmund vs VfB Stuttgart

International break is finally over!

Club Brugge v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Champions League Group A Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

After a banter-filled but still annoying international break (see here and here for details), the Bundesliga returns tomorrow for Match Day 8. Borussia Dortmund will travel to Stuttgart to face the relegation place side.

Stuttgart’s last match was a 3-1 loss to Hannover 96, and their total record overall is 1 win, 2 draws, and 4 losses for a measly 5 points, resulting in them sitting in 17th place. Stuttgart’s former manager Tayfun Korkut was sacked even though it’s probably Gonzalo Castro’s fault following this string of poor performances, and they have a new man leading the squad in the form of Markus Weinzierl.

Borussia Dortmund’s last match was the ridiculous 4-3 victory against Augsburg with Paco Alcácer’s hat trick practically pulling Der BVB through the game to the bitter end. While that match was a nail biter from start to finish and it has been a while since I’ve felt euphoria like I did when that free kick went in, it showed that this squad is still incredibly shaky. Lucien Favre’s choice of starting XI easily has the ability to make or break a match.

Stuttgart will be without Marc-Oliver Kempf in their defense as well as forward Anastasios Donis and a few other players, while Daniel Didavi is a doubt. Dortmund’s injury roster comprises of Manuel Akanji, Jeremy Toljan, and Marcel Schmelzer.

Predicted Starting XI

According to Bundesliga.com:

BVB XI: Bürki, Hakimi, Diallo, Zagadou, Piszczek, Witsel, Delaney, Sancho, Reus, Bruun Larsen, Philipp

VfB XI: Zieler, Pavard, Baumgartl, Badstuber, Beck, Castro, Ascacibar, Gentner, Insua, Gonzalez, Gomez

Once again, Paco Alcácer isn’t pinned to start, but seeing that he’s excellent off the bench, that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Most people thought that Favre would rather start one of our center-backs out wide instead of risking having Piszczek manning his usual position, but given how bad Stuttgart are doing right now and the fact that Akanji is also out injured, I think this is a good game to have the Polish veteran get out there. On paper, Stuttgart’s lineup doesn’t look too bad, but their track record this season suggests that the squad is underperforming. Nonetheless, Dortmund’s defense will have to be on their guard.

Predicted Score

3-0 victory. As much as I hate seeing the squad get hyped up after a few good performances, I think it won’t be too hard to dispatch Stuttgart.