Borussia Dortmund faces a quick turnaround as they take on Werder Bremen in the Third Round of the DFB-Pokal. BVB is coming off a disappointing, drab draw against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga, while maintaining their lead in the league thanks to a 3-1 loss by Bayern against Bayer Leverkusen.
This close from the previous match, I’m expecting tons of rotation despite the Bundesliga opponent. We should see players like Hitz, Wolf, Pulisic, and maybe even Gomez feature while first-team regulars like Reus, Götze, and our back-four start for stability and class. Or we could see a mostly first-string line-up against a challenging midtable outfit. I have no idea which way Favre is leaning towards in regards to a starting XI in the Cup, so I woudn’t be surprised with either scenario for a line-up.
Bremen come into this match with five points in their last three matches in the Ruckrunde, including a 1-1 draw against Nurnberg on Saturday. In the Pokal, this will be Bremen’s first test as they’ve easily brushed aside Wormatia Worms and Weiche Flensburg in the previous rounds. Max Kruse and Maximilin Eggestein are the leading overall goalscorer for Bremen with five goals apiece, while Martin Harnik and Florian lead the squad with two Pokal goals each. Claudio Pizarro is always a threat to score, while American newcomer Josh Sargent is a talented youngster and has scored two goals off the bench for Bremen.
I can see this one going to extra time, especially so if we field a rotated side. We struggled against smaller sides like Greuther Furth and Union Berlin in the Pokal, so why should this match against a tougher opponent be any different? Coupled with our inability to close out matches at times against tough, quality opponents, this one will be quite a challenge. But I’m confident everyone in yellow and black will be up for it.