The international break is over and Borussia Dortmund football is back! BVB are out for revenge against TSG Hoffenheim, who famously demolished Dortmund 4-0 on the final day of last season. With a win tomorrow, Borussia Dortmund can kickstart what will hopefully be a successful run of Bundesliga and Champions League matches through October and November.
To do so they will be facing TSG Hoffenheim, who are in a very difficult spot. We already covered the news from this morning that two Hoffenheim players have tested positive for Coronavirus. As it turns out, one of those players is Andrej Kramaric. Kramaric is Hoffenheim’s best player by a considerable margin and has been one of the best players in the Bundesliga since the season began. He leads the league and Hoffenheim with six goals. With him out tomorrow against BVB, that means that the rest of the squad— who have combined for two goals— will need to pick up the slack.
Borussia Dortmund’s biggest defensive concerns going into this match are the injuries to Manuel Akanji and Dan-Axel Zagadou. Manuel Akanji last tested positive for coronavirus on October 8th, and thus has a mandatory 14-day quarantine that will carry through tomorrow’s match and the following Champions League match against Lazio. Dan-Axel Zagadou is still injured, so he will sit as well.
This means that BVB can expect either a back three of Hummels, Can, and Piszczek, or a back four. I suspect that Lucien Favre will go with the former. I doubt that Favre will want to run a back-four with only one natural center back. On the bright side, Roman Burki has recovered from his respiratory illness and will be fit to start. He’ll be a significant upgrade over Marwin Hitz.
The forward situation is much better for Borussia Dortmund. While Thorgan Hazard is still out with a hamstring injury, Jadon Sancho has also recovered from his respiratory illness and is fully fit and ready to play. We can expect him to play alongside Erling Haaland, with Gio Reyna sitting a bit deeper on the opposite wing while also joining the attack on counterattacks.
All-in-all, I expect something like the following lineup:
I’m in a positive mood, you know? I think everything is gonna work out fine. The defense will contain Hoffenheimand each of Sancho, Haaland, and Gio will get a goal for a 3-0 victory. Optimism is how I like it, baby!