We won’t be discussing a certain colour card handed out during a certain Champions League match earlier this week. In fact, we’ll just leave that in the hands of the authorities.
Borussia Dortmund face RB Leipzig for the first time since laying a 4-1 thrashing on them in last season’s thrilling DFB Pokal final. Both teams will be fielding vastly different squads than they did in that match due to injuries and a busy summer transfer window.
Dortmund look to continue their early season Bundesliga success as they currently sit alone in second place, one point behind league leaders Bayern Munich. Following an emotional loss to Ajax on Wednesday, BVB will need to collect themselves in order to ensure they keep pace with Bayern in the table. Life without Erling Haaland has resulted in the pleasant emergence of Julian Brandt and Thorgan Hazard on the offensive end. While defensively, Dortmund kept their first Bundesliga clean sheet of the season (!!!) last weekend in their 2-0 win over Koln. Keeping their defensive structure will be vital against Leipzig’s potent attack.
Riding high off a 92nd minute game-tying penalty against PSG in the Champions League, Leipzig look to have turned the corner after a tumultuous start to their season. After losing the trio of Dayot Upamecano, captain Marcel Sabitzer, and manager Julian Nagelsmann all to Bayern Munich this summer, resulting in them losing three of their first four Bundesliga fixtures, Leipzig seem to have finally settled into their 2021-2022 season. They have gone six matches without losing in the Bundesliga, and have climbed their way back up to eighth in the league table. With the likes of Nkuku, Poulsen, Forsberg and Silva in their attack, Dortmund have plenty to be weary of on the defensive end.
The dreaded “muscle injury” has struck BVB once again, as Marius Wolf went down midweek and will not be available this weekend. In other troubling news, Marco Rose announced that Gio Reyna suffered a setback in his recovery and is without a clear timetable for return. Dan-Axel Zagadou will be back in the squad after playing with the second team last weekend. Other than that, no other reinforcements are expected to make a return.
Rose mentioned the possibility of Passlack (no) or Akanji sliding in at left back in lieu of Wolf, but I think he’ll opt to play three at the back and have Hazard on the left flank opposite Meunier. Other than that, Malen should retake his spot at striker after Tigges made his first ever Champions League start.
I don’t know. Really, who can predict how this one will turn out? Both squads are prone to being unpredictable and underwhelming. But if they are on form, especially in attack, we could be in for some excitement. I’ll go with a 2-2 draw.