Dortmund looks to wash the bad taste of their first loss of the season on Friday when they head home to face Borussia Mönchengladbach in the final match of the Hinründe.
BVB suffered their first Bundesliga loss of the season in a disappointing 2-1 result against Düsseldorf, who are fighting to avoid relegation back to the 2. Bundesliga. Yes we were fielding a rotated side, and yes it was away from home, but a loss like that to a side of Düsseldorf’s caliber is inexcusable. I’m hoping Favre uses this loss as extra motivation to bounce back in a strong way on Friday.
However, injuries to our backline will make that a little more difficult. It was reported yesterday that Akanji and Diallo will be out with a variety of injuries. And with Dan-Axel Zagadou already injured, that leaves only Ömer Toprak as the lone true-centerback that’s available. Having only one healthy centerback available leaves Favre with a number of options to chose from. Does he roll with a back-three on Friday? Or does he call up a player from the reserves? Or does he slot someone in like Piszczek next to Toprak and continue with the four-man backline?
And what do we do with the other positions? Will we field the same central midfield pairing on Friday from the Düsseldorf match? And what about the wings? Despite being injury prone and playing in nearly every minute of every match this season, do we sit Reus? Do we start Alcácer when it’s clear he’s a much better option off the bench?
Regardless, we’ll be up against it because our opponent is second-place Borussia Mönchengladbach, who are only six points off Dortmund for the Bundesliga top spot. Die Fohlen have been one of teams to take advantage of Bayern’s struggles this season. Led by Alassane Pléa and potential BVB transfer target Thorgan Hazard, BMG have only lost three Bundesliga matches, while they’ve already been knocked out of the DFB-Pokal. Their biggest win of the season is without question the 3-0 shellacking they put on against Bayern at the Allianz Arena. This will be one of Dortmund’s biggest tests of the Hinründe, and I think it will be one of the defining matches of the season.
A win on Friday going into the winter break would do wonders for this team as they’ve surprised a number of people by rocketing into first place and not collapsing like last season. I don’t know if we’ll pull off a win, especially with the backline situation, but I feel we’ll see plenty of exciting football from both teams.
Prediction: 1-1 Draw