Things are never easy for Borussia Dortmund. Despite not having a terrible spell of injuries yet this season, it still seems Dortmund may have a stretch of games with a rotated squad, this time due to the flu. Earlier in the week, Burki, Sancho, Piz, Marcel and Hitz all were out due to the flu. While they train they are all maybes for our game this weekend against Hoffenheim. To make things even more difficult it seems our manager Lucian Favre has taken ill with the flu after missing today's press conference. Also Marco Reus has been ruled out with a muscle strain.
Hoffenehiem have had another good season despite the fact that their manager Julian Naggelsmann is on his way out at the end of the year. They are currently in 8th on the table but have the 6th best goal difference. In our first meeting we tied them away 1-1 thanks to a late goal from Christian Pulisic. Diallo also got himself a red card after a dumb foul in the 76th. With a tie and a loss in our last two games, this depleted Dortmund squad will have to work hard to keep ahead in the Bundesliga title race.
As for our lineup, Fave will have his work cut out for him. For GK hopefully Burki is fit, if not its probably Oelschlägel who played well against Werder during the week. For our backline keeping it the same as Werder is unfortunate but probably necessary, so Toprak-Diallo-Weigl-Hakimi. We have been very lucky Weigl has slotted in at the center back spot well, hopefully he can keep it up. Hakimi has been playing on fire during the Ruckrunde so far, lets see how he can handle this heavy load of minutes and added expectations. Our central midfielders will probably be Delaney-Witsel. Dahoud isn’t great at playing when our defense is so depleted, however I do think he should be given a shot over Delaney given Delaney’s form. In front of them on the wings I’d expect Pulisic and Raph, but wouldn’t count out JBL or Wolf being there. Maybe giving Pulisic a chance in the middle may payoff if Favre wants to keep Paco on the bench and play Gotze up front. If not then Gotze will probably be the nine and Paco the 10. Paco has been dreadful the past few games, barely touching the ball or making any positive moves off ball. Hopefully he can get back to his crazy super-sub self soon.
For Hoffenheim, they also have rotating to do. Centerback and regular captain Kevin Vogt is ruled questionable. That is good news for BVB at least, as Hoffenehim are already a little thin due to injuries at the backline. The player we need to worry about is Croatian midfielder Andrej Kramaric who has 14 goals and 3 assists in Bundesliga and UCL play this season. We will probably also see young Brazilian forward Joelinton for Hoffenheim. While he didn’t play much when we last were against TSG he has scored 9 goals in all comps so far this year.
BVB’s game plan should be playing back more back then usual and waiting for breaks. Hoffenheim usually play two up to front leaving them a little more exposed then most teams. Also without their regular defenders, TSG will be more susceptible on the break(unlike Dortmund because Weigl has been great at shutting down breaks.). We have been starting games on the backfoot recently and if TSG score early, it will be tough to get back into it without both Reus and Sancho. Also as Greg noted earlier this week, if we go up we need to focus and finishing the match before letting TSG get an equalizer.
What do you think the best lineup/gameplan for Dortmund is against Hoffenheim.