Only a few days after trouncing FC Nürnberg at the Westfalenstadion, Borussia Dortmund are on the hunt for their first Bundesliga victory away from home. Favre’s men will be traveling to the BayArena to face Bayer Leverkusen. Die Werkself find themselves in 11th place after five matches, and will be hesitant to let themselves slide any further down the table. They’re a side with plenty of talent, so expect them to put up much more of a fight than Nürnberg did.
Until Wednesday, Borussia Dortmund have looked unconvincing, even in their victories, to start the year. If they can beat Leverkusen, especially in convincing fashion, it would go a long way towards proving that their victory over Nürnberg was not a fluke, and that they will be able to tackle tougher opponents in the competitions ahead.
What to Expect from Leverkusen
After starting the Bundesliga in disastrous fashion with three successive defeats, Leverkusen are finally starting to gain some traction, with three victories in a row in all competitions. Heiko Herrlich’s squad is one of the most talented in the Bundesliga. Julian Brandt, Kevin Volland, Leon Bailey, and Kai Havertz are young, quick, and skilled, and a decent back line featuring more young talent in Jonathan Tah, as well as former Dortmund defender Sven Bender.
Potential BVB Lineup
Lucien Favre is notoriously tight-lipped about his lineup plans, so we likely won’t have any concrete information until the match is ready to begin. It’s a fair assumption, though, that Abdou Diallo will return to the squad, having recently completed his suspension. Meanwhile, Paco Alcacer started on the bench on Wednesday, but is still fighting a nagging ankle injury, and may not start.
Here is the lineup posted by BVB’s twitter account:
If this were the lineup tomorrow, I would mostly be satisfied. I thought Hakimi was excellent on Wednesday, but he played a full 90 minutes and may not be fit to start again, so Piszczek’s inclusion is fine. A midfield combination of Witsel and Delaney is probably BVB’s ideal pairing, and should provide the right combination of passing and physicality to beat Leverkusen’s press.
Prediction: Dortmund 2-1 Leverkusen
Bayer Leverkusen will be a challenge, but Dortmund are the stronger of the two sides, and will be brimming with confidence after their victory on Wednesay. I expect a close match, but Dortmund have the offensive firepower to come away with three points.