Its time for the next round of the 2018/2019 DFB Pokal! Dortmund will be taking on Union Berlin for the second time in two years in this competition. Berlin are currently tied for 3rd on the 2.Bundesliga table and haven’t lost a game this season. Union may be a sneaky challenge for Dortmund if BVB play off their game. Last time we played Union it was also in the second round of the cup. We beat them 3-0 and went on to win the Pokal that year.
Favre said in his presser on Tuesday that both Paco and Kagawa will be available for the match. Both players have been dealing with nagging injury issues so it will be good to see them back in the lineup, especially Paco. With Akanji hurt, I’d expect Toprak, who only just got cleared fit to play last week, to start. We need to rotate this squad with so many two game weeks in a row, so maybe we’ll see Wolf or Toljan make an appearance. Reus 100% needs a rest with so many big games in the next 2 weeks, hopefully Favre gives it to him. Reus has probably been our best player this year, we will need him to play a lot as things heat up.
For the rest of the squad I would like the newly fit Kagawa to be given a start or at least a shot of the bench. Pulisic should be given the run out over Sancho to maybe get his funk broken against weaker opposition. Dahoud should also get the start for the same reason. However BVB are going to need to use some in form players against a in form Union side, so we may need to put more minutes on Witsel and Raph. Overall our side is stronger and aside from our match against the other Berlin we are on a role. If Paco doesn’t start he could make one of his miracle subs later in the game if things are still dicey.
Union do not score much but have the best defensive record in the 2.Bundesliga by a wide margin with only 7 goals given up in 11 games. Center back Marvin Friedrich and Florian Hubner both are extremely physical, something that may prove worrisome to our oft injured squad. Swedish forward Sebastian Anderson leads Union with 5 goals scored this season. The way Union will play against us will probably be trying to bog down the game and forcing set pieces or goals on the break to score.
Union and Dortmund have a good club relationship, Dortmund being the opposition for Unions 50th anniversary charity friendly two years ago. No matter the result I’d expect a cheerful atmosphere at the game. Lets hope its our fans celebrating in the end!
What do you think will be the starting lineup?