In the middle game of three in an eight day stretch, Dortmund must avoid overlooking their recently promoted opponent. Dortmund at the moment stand in third, two points behind Hertha Berlin, while Nurnberg sit in 8th after an impressive first four games.
This game will show us where Dortmund is headed under Favre this season. A draw against Hoffenheim is acceptable, but this team has yet to show consistency and prove they can rise above the rest of the pack. The excuse of adjusting to a new coach has run its course at this point and it is time to start consistently taking care of inferior opponents.
The announced line-up is very encouraging towards that goal:
This is certainly an improvement to what we have seen to begin the season. BVB will be missing Diallo due to suspension, but there are exciting changes throughout the lineup. Finally, Marius Wolf has been removed from the starting squad, and we will get to see Sancho and Pulisic on the field at the same time. Kagawa will also get the start, a sight a lot of fans will love to see after the threat of a transfer over the summer and the uninspiring play from Gotze in attacking midfield.
It appears Paco Alcacer may not be fully ready to enter the starting lineup after his injury, so Reus will have to manage at striker. It wasn’t fair to continue to force Philipp out of position, but Reus has the necessary talent to do so.
As for the visitors, Nurnberg has had a strong start to the season, especially considering the schedule they have played to date with three of four opponents currently ahead of them in the table. They began the season with a 1-0 loss to Berlin (2nd in the table) then followed that up with two draws, one against Werder Bremen (4th) and one against Mainz (7th). They are coming off a 2-0 win against Hannover, taking advantage of a red card in the 29th minute. Nurnberg have also only allowed three goals so far, equaling Dortmund and Mainz for second fewest allowed in the league. They have had a start that any promoted team would hope to have and should not be taken lightly.
Prediction: 2-0 win
If we can’t expect a two goal win against Nurnberg, then this season is really heading in the wrong direction. The game obviously won’t be flashy as Favre’s style has shown so far this season, but Dortmund should be able to methodically pick apart an inferior opponent on their home field.