No hibernation for these busy bees, as Borussia Dortmund is in the middle of a 3 games in 6 days stretch. After a disappointing draw, they will take a short trip south to face Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Tuesday, January 19 at 2:30pm ET.
Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund have met 82 times in the Bundesliga, dating back to 1979. These matchups have been fairly even with Dortmund going 32W-22D-28L, and outscoring Leverkusen 132-121. The last time they met was nearly a year ago when Leverkusen won a turbulent 4-3 match.
Dortmund sits in 4th place with 29 points and a goal differential of +12. In their last 10 games, they have gone 5-3-2, defeating title contenders RB Leipzig, but most recently dropping points in a draw to lowly Mainz 05. Injuries have not been kind to this team. Thorgan Hazard and Dan-Axel Zagadou both have torn hamstrings, while Axel Witsel has had surgery to repair a torn Achilles.
Leverkusen also has 29 points, but sits in 3rd place due to a goal differential of +14. Die Werkself has gone 6-1-3 in their last 10 matchups. Leverkusen has also had their fair share of injuries. Santiago Arias has a lower-leg fracture, Mitchell Weiser has a torn hamstring, and Exequiel Palacios has a fracture of three transverse processes on the lumbar spine, which sounds incredibly painful.
How might they line-up?
Along with the injuries mentioned above, Emre Can will miss the game due to a yellow card accumulation suspension, while Giovanni Reyna is recovering from a throat infection. Marcel Schmelzer is still in rehabilitation from knee surgery. Manuel Akanji and Thomas Delaney look to slide in to replace Zagadou and Can, respectively. Thomas Delaney needs to be careful not to get another yellow card, as he sits on four.
Bench: Hitz (GK), Unbehaun (GK), Morey, Passlack, Piszczek, Schulz, Dahoud, Raschl, Reinier, Reyna, Moukoko, Tigges
As for Peter Bosz’s side, Lars Bender looks to return to the starting XI, along with some others returning from injury (Florian Wirtz, Karim Bellarabi, and Julian Baumgartlinger). Our old buddy, Sven Bender, is most likely on the bench after a capsular injury.
Bench: Grill (GK), Lomb (GK), S. Bender, Dragovic, Fosu-Mensah, Jedvaj, Wendell, Aranguiz, Demirbay, Alario, Bellarabi, Gedikli
These two teams are neck-in-neck in the standings and I bet this game will resemble that as well. It’ll be a tight match, but hopefully the Dortmund boys will pull out a big, fat W.
Stats from kicker.de