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Match Preview: Borussia Dortmund vs Hannover 96

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Der BVB’s last match before the international break.

Burnley v Hannover 96 - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

League leaders Dortmund will travel to Hannover on Friday for the Bundesliga’s second match day. The squad is coming off a very encouraging 4-1 home victory against the hated Red Bull corporation, and they will be hoping to come away from this upcoming match with a win as well.

All the news in the Dortmund camp has been pointing to the recent signing of Paco Alcácer on a year long loan deal with option to buy, and that has also been in Lucien Favre’s mind as well. The Swiss coach essentially commented that Alcácer only just recently arrived, and since he has had limited training with the squad, Favre still was going to need time to make up his mind what to do with him this Friday.

The coach also explained that Hannover will most likely deploy a 4-4-2 formation and they will be a tough side to break down. RB Leipzig doesn’t put much work into their defense, and the match result last Sunday reflected that, but it is now time to see how Favre’s Dortmund fares against a team that knows how to lock the defensive third down. Last week a goal from Hendrik Weydandt (Who?) was the only one that the club from Lower Saxony produced in a 1-1 draw against Werder Bremen, so don’t expect a lot of attacking prowess from them.

Predicted XI

According to Bundesliga.com:

BVB XI: Bürki, Piszczek, Akanji, Diallo, Schmelzer, Dahoud, Witsel, Delaney, Pulisic, Philipp, Reus (c)

H96 XI: Esser, Sorg, Anton (c), Wimmer, Ostrzolek, Bebou, Schwegler, Walace, Maina, Weydandt, Füllkrug

At the very most, in my opinion, Alcácer will make a substitute appearance off the bench later in the game. While relying on Philipp and Reus to be the main attacking threats against Leipzig wasn’t amazing, considering the chances they created (And, in Reus’s case, scored) Dortmund will probably be comfortable doing the same thing again.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Dortmund’s midfield trio of Witsel, Delaney, and Dahoud worked excellently last week, and while it could use some polish, it had the perfect balance of defensive solidarity paired with constant attacking threat and all sorts of good passing in between, so once again, there is no good reason to change it. There are some notable exclusions, but perhaps we’re going to see a lot less of Julian Weigl and Mario Götze this season, who knows?

Despite what the 4-1 scoreline would tell you, Dortmund’s defense against Leipzig was shaky at best. Roman Bürki was the unsung hero last Sunday and saved not only the score, but the necks of the defenders in front of him. The writers at Bundesliga.com seems to think that the defense will stay the same, but considering their performance last week, I wouldn’t completely trust that. Then again, Leipzig posed a much greater attacking threat than Hannover will, so we will see.

Verdict: 3-0 victory

Hannover relied on individual brilliance to get them ahead of a rather decent Werder Bremen side, and even then they couldn’t hold on to that lead. Meanwhile, Dortmund proved that they could score under Favre, despite two of the goals on Sunday being just comical.