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Match Preview: Dortmund start second half of the season against RB Leipzig

The Ruckrunde begins with a top 4 clash

RB Salzburg v RB Leipzig - UEFA Europa League - Group B Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Well the winter break is finally over and this time we didn’t sell our first choice striker. So to start the Ruckrunde we play RB Leipzig away this Saturday. Leipzig currently sit in fourth place, a full 11 points behind us on the table. For injuries, Akanji is out as but both Alcacer and Reus have been cleared again to play. New singing Leonardo Balerdi has been sent back to his U-20 national team to finish a tournament.

Dortmund’s game plan will depend on who is healthy enough to play in the back. If both Diallo and Toprak cannot play, Weigl will have to take one of their spots at CB. Weigl at CB is a experiment doomed to failure, but he still would be the best option there compared to our other midfielders. Piz should be our starting fullback along with Raphael Guerreiro. If Weigl is center back we will need to have Delaney be Witsel’s partner in the midfield. Delaney is a frustrating player making him useful for disrupting RB playing though the middle. For the wings, Sancho and Reus are our best options so they should get the nod. For a AM and forward, We will probably get some combination of Phillip, Paco and/or Gotze. I’d particularity like to see Phillip get more chances to start, given he’s still a very good player despite his struggles up front..

Leipzig are going to play aggressive out the gates against us. They have played direct and quick most games we’ve played against them since they came to the league, they will do the same here. Leipzig’s forwards score lots of goals. Timo Werner has 13 and Yussuf Poulsen had 11 so far this season. While Werner may be the subject of a million trade rumors, but if he is focused he will be a threat. On top of dangerous forwards, RB has the best defensive record in the league only giving up 17 goals so far. That record is thanks in large part to their starting center backs Willi Orban and Ibrahima Konate. Both have been amazing this year, both having good records on successful tackles and passing from the back. On the bright side, Dortmund ripped this CB pair apart in our Hinrunde match-up scoring 4 goals total. Although since then they only have given up more then 1 goal twice. While Leipzig rarely let goals up at home, and are yet to lose at home, Dortmund are still the favorites as long as our defense can hold.

What do you think our starting lineup will be?