Despite injuries and suspensions thinning out the squad there’s no respite for Borussia Dortmund, as they play their third game in only six days, traveling to Borrusia-Park to face Marco Rose’s Borussia Monchengladbach on Friday (January 22nd 2.30pm ET). The schedule makers have not been kind to Dortmund this season, as this will be the second time this season that they have traveled away to play on a Friday after previously playing away on the Tuesday. On the previous occasion, Die Schwarzgelben were able to pull out a 2-1 win over Werder Bremen before collapsing to a 2-1 defeat to Union Berlin just 3 days later. This time, however, BVB are looking to bounce back after a loss to Bayer 04 Leverkusen, and will hopefully be able to put in a much better performance than we saw on Tuesday.
Borussia Dortmund currently sit in fourth place with 29 points, which is one of the lowest totals BVB have put up heading into the Ruckrunde, and is in no way representative of the talent and quality that Dortmund have at their disposal. Injuries have piled up for BVB, with Thorgan Hazard and Dan-Axel Zagadou out until February, while Marcel Scmelzer and Axel Witsel sit out more long term injures, the latter not expected to play again this season. Thomas Delaney is also unavailable for Friday’s game, having picked up his fifth yellow card of the season, facing a one game suspension as a result. The good news, though, is that Emre Can will be returning from his own suspension and we will need his fresh legs in midfield for this match.
Borussia Monchengladbach, meanwhile, come in to this match having won 3 of their last 4, including a 3-2 comeback win over Bayern Munich. They will also welcome back Marcus Thuram who was serving a suspension for a spitting incident in a match against Hoffenheim. Breel Embolo was dropped in the win against Werder Bremen due to breaking Covid-19 protocols, but Marco Rose said that he will be involved against Dortmund.
How might they line-up?
I see both teams lining up with their usual 4-2-3-1 formations. Gladbach rested club captain Lars Stindl and Ramy Bensebaini in their 1-0 victory over Werder Bremen on Tuesday, so I expect both to return to the starting XI for this match. I also see Marcus Thuram coming back in on the left and pushing former BVB player Jonas Hofmann over to the right, and Patrick Herrmann being dropped to the bench with Oscar Wendt and Hannes Wolf. I suspect Alassane Plea will spearhead the attack and Embolo will be resigned to a substitute option off the bench.
Dortmund on the other hand need to rotate, but I just don’t know if they can, or if Edin Terzic will be willing. Guerreiro and Hummels clearly need a break but there is no one to come in for them, while an injury to Thorgan Hazard and Giovanni Reyna’s throat infection mean that Marco Reus, Jadon Sancho, and Julian Brandt will most likely work in the attack just below Erling Haaland. Emre Can comes in for Thomas Delaney and Jude Bellingham has to start alongside him because he has been our best player the last two matches.
Call me crazy but I think we see a reaction from the squad on Friday. I know that the last couple of results suggest otherwise, but first and foremost I am just a stupid fan, and I believe in my team. Dortmund typically have Gladbach’s number, for whatever reason, and Reus typically punishes his old club. I think Haaland’s pace will get the better of Nico Elvedi and former Dortmund player Matthias Ginter, as the Foals like to play higher up the pitch and are vulnerable to runs in behind.