As the first half of the season winds down, Edin Terzic and Borussia Dortmund are struggling and in desperate need of a win, no matter the opposition. Luckily, tomorrow’s match will be a significant opportunity for BVB to gain some momentum heading into the new year. Dortmund will face Eintracht Braunschweig of the 2. Bundesliga in the second round of the DFB Pokal. Even though BVB have been struggling, there is no excuse for anything other than a win tomorrow. A loss against a second division side would raise serious questions about Edin Terzic and whether BVB can continue without any major moves in the transfer market in January.
Eintracht Braunschweig have gotten off to a poor start in the 2. Bundesliga, sitting at 15th place, just outside the relegation zone. Having only taken three wins and 13 goals from 13 matches, Braunschweig should be easy pickings for Borussia Dortmund. Unfortunately, in a single game knockout round like the DFB Pokal, things rarely go to plan. Hertha Berlin, who faced Braunschweig and lost in a cracking game 5-4 in the first round, will know this all too well.
How will BVB line up?
We’re only two games into Edin Terzic’s tenure with BVB, so we still haven’t got much to analyze when it comes to the system and tactics that he likes. In his first two matches, Terzic has fielded a 4-2-3-1 with Moukoko leading the line in front of Jadon Sancho, Marco Reus, and Gio Reyna. The only changes he made between the match against Werder Bremen and the match against Union Berlin were to switch out Jude Bellingham for Emre Can in midfield, and to replace Mateu Morey with Thomas Meunier. This leads me to believe that he will make few, if any changes.
According to Ruhr Nachrichten, Thorgan Hazard will be questionable for tomorrow’s match, likely a game day decision from Edin Terzic. Reinier, Mahmoud Dahoud, and Felix Passlack each remained in Dortmund while the rest of the squad travelled to Braunschweig, and so will be left out of the squad. Erling Haaland, the man who looks more and more irreplaceable every day, is still injured.
This lineup doesn’t necessarily reflect what I think Terzic will field, but what I hope he fields:
Youssoufa Moukoko needs to make the squad. He’s basically the only positive aspect of BVB’s season right now, and it’s frequently his youthful creativity that seems most likely to create a goal for Borussia Dortmund. Even though Jadon Sancho is low on confidence and in a run of poor form, he should also start, especially if Thorgan Hazard isn’t able to make the squad. In midfield, I’d prefer a pairing of Emre Can and Jude Bellingham. Much like his predecessor, Edin Terzic seems bent on leaving Thomas Delaney on the bench, and in my opinion Axel Witsel is either in poor form, fatigued, or both. Emre Can seems to consistently have the passion necessary to lead the team through its struggles, and Jude Bellingham has been one of this season’s few bright spots.
Anything other than a win is inexcusable. I predict a 2-0 win with Moukoko and Guerreiro scoring.