Dortmund take on FC Augsburg today to begin matchday 24. Augsburg is 15th on the table, two points ahead of the the relegation playoff spot. Last time we played Augsburg, it was the Paco miracle game, where he subbed on and scored a hat trick, including a goal at 90+6’ to help us win 4-3. For injuries Piz and Pulisic are our, but captain Marco Reus is expected back in the lineup.
February was rough for Dortmund but luckily that’s behind us now. After holding out against Bayer and getting our best player back, this hopefully will be the Dortmund team we’ve come to expect. For the back line, Akanji-Diallo CB pair and Hakimi-Zagadou fullback pair is probably our best bet. Up in front of them Delaney and Witsel are still our best options for CM’s. If either aren’t feeling fully fit, Dahoud can maybe be trusted to slide in. Witsel especially has played a lot of games this year and as we head down the stretch of the season we need him healthy.It won’t kill us to get him a little rest. With Reus back he can sit up ahead of the center midfielders and feed either Gotze or Paco. On the wings Raph and Sancho seem the best fit, but if Favre wants to play all three of Paco, Gotze and Reus, he may put Reus on the wing and Gotze/Paco in their traditional spots. Either way we have an embarrassment of riches with attacking players.
Augsburg are in a rough spot right now. They are close to relegation and their top scorer Alfred Finnbogason is out injured. Finnbogason scored against us last time around so that’s one less player BVB will have to worry about. Since things are so serious for Augsburg I’d expect them to sit back and pray for a goal on the counter. To break Augsburgs plans, Dortmund are going to have to be creative. We have struggled to score when our game plan is just to cross into the box and pray for the best. Reus will change a lot of that attacking malaise, but the challenge remains. The other most crucial thing Dortmund needs to mind when they get out on the pitch, don’t give up stupid fouls and don’t whiff on opposing corner kick set pieces. Set pieces have been our Achilles heel in the Ruckrunde, the team and Favre need to plan better for them.
What do you think Dortmunds best lineup/game plan is?