Well the international break is over and Dortmund have a lot of work to do as the Hinrunde closes out. After a rough start to the season and getting killed by Bayern many fans are feeling negative about how things are moving for the team this year. If things don’t get right quick Favre could be right back on the hot seat. Luckily, Paderborn is a great team for us to find our form against. Paderborn have 4 points from 11 games with only one win on the season. BVB will not have Delaney available for the game and Nico Schulz is questionable.
For our lineup, Favre will probably trot out something similar to what he has all season, soething like Raph-Hummels-Akanji-Hakimi-Weigl-Witsel-Hazard-Reus-Sancho-Paco. If Paco or Reus aren’t fit will will probable see Brandt or Gotze replace either. I’m sure we’re all tired of seeing the same lineup and tactics all year but we were starting to click before Bayern. Against Paderbon at home we will look to take the majority of possession and look for good opportunities. As per usual, Dortmund's key to success are 1)not letting a goal for/against them get to their heads 2)Limit opposing set pieces. Easy enough to say but hard to do for this squad so far. I’d love to see Rues fit this game as he was just starting to look inform before he injured himself against Wolfsburg. This game is also a great chance for Sancho to find his footing again. When Sancho plays at his best it’s not hard to believe BVB could beat any team in Europe. A fit team and a good result leading into Barcelona will be crucial for our UCL future.
Despite their form Paderborn do have some good players on the squad. Forwards Streil Mamba and Ben Zolinski have shared duties upfront and have been Paderbons most lethal players this season. Midfielder Sebastian Vasiliadis was a huge part of Paderborns promotion into the Bundesliga last season and is crafty enough to give us issues. Maybe the only other player of note(at leats to those who follow American players abroad) would be American Khirly Shelton who has only played 71 minutes for Paderborn this year.
Friday football always sucks but I am happy we get to see BVB one day sooner after a international break. We are getting close to the end of the Hinrunde, the tickets for our “Jingle Bells” game are already sold out. A quick turn around from this squad could put us in the drivers seat for the Ruckrunde. If we falter...I don’t believe Favre will be manager come our training camp in January. What do you think the optimal lineup game plan for today would be?