Borussia Dortmund will go into their last home game of the 2019/20 with the task of getting some sort of revenge for a Hinrunde loss against Fortuna Düsseldorf that could be seen as the starting point of BVB’s collapse this season.
When these two teams met for the first time this season the black and yellows were still undefeated in the Bundesliga and comfortably in first place, riding a seven game win streak that included wins over Bayern Munich and the Revierderby. And yet BVB lost against a scrappy Düsseldorf team that leaned on a stout defense and dangerous counters, a tactical approach that they surely want to repeat on matchday 33.
BVB on the other hand will try to deny Düsseldorf those counters and hope to control the game a bit better so that the three points - and the last chance at the title - stay in Dortmund.
Injury problems for BVB persist
Lucien Favre will have to work around injury problems once again. The Swiss coach confirmed during the press conference that Jadon Sancho did not practice all week long with the team which means he’s still questionable for the game. Achraf Hakimi will definitely be out and it looks like Abdou Diallo and Roman Bürki could also miss the game.
In addition both Marco Reus and Marius Wolf are still suspended and won’t be available either. The only good news for BVB-fans is the possible return of Lukasz Piszczek.
Fortuna Düsseldorf has also a couple injured players, fullbacks Diego Contento and Jean Zimmer have now been out for quite a while.
Projected line-up and tactics
This will be a tough one for Favre with so many players not available especially on the defensive side, but a BVB line-up could look like this:
Hitz - Piszczek, Weigl, Akanji, Guerreiro - Witsel Delaney - Bruun Larsen (Sancho), Götze, Pulisic - Alcacer
If Bürki can’t play Hitz would slot in for him in goal. Guerreiro did well against Bremen last week so he might stay at left back for one more game. The problem will be at right back and the center of the defense where it all depends on Piszczek’s health. Akanji would have to move to right back if the Polish fullback isn’t ready which would mean either Toprak or Balerdi would have to play next to Weigl in the center of the defense.
The rest of the line-up will likely be the same as the one against Werder Bremen with the exception of Sancho due to injury. Bruun Larsen would probably be his replacement for the game with Philipp being another option.
This will once again be a game with a very defensive opponent that will only break out of its formation if there’s a chance for a counter attack. Düsseldorf like to work out of a 4-4-2 base system with two defensive midfielders that mostly stay back and help defend. Those games haven’t exactly treated BVB well during the second half of the season.
Favre will need to find a solution to breaking down defensive opponents while keeping some stability on defense themselves. Furthermore it would be nice to see Dortmund actually keep a lead once they got it for a change.
Dortmund will need to minimize mistakes during the build-up and try to tear the defense apart either with quick passing sequences or trying to get the wingers into one-on-one situations to get behind the defense.
Prediction: 2:1 win
Injuries are once again piling up but Dortmund have to win this one if they want to keep alive any chances at the title. One eye will surely leer at the result of the RB Leipzig-Bayern game but Dortmund have to get the job done first and foremost.