On Wednesday, Dortmund will look to further their pursuit of the Bundesliga Title with a match up against Bundesliga newcomers Greuther Fürth. Get it, further? Fürth?
Dortmund come into the game on the back of a really disappointing draw to the other Bundesliga newcomers, VfL Bochum. Dortmund had their chances but were not able to secure three critical points in the title race with Bayern Munich. Dortmund will be seen as favorites to win this game, but the coaching staff will be warning the players not to underestimate their opposition as they may have done against Bochum.
Per Marco Rose, the expectation is that Raphael Guerreiro and Donyell Malen will not make it back for the matchday, so I would expect to see a similar lineup to what the assistant coaches rolled out at the weekend.
Marco Rose:— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) December 14, 2021
“Neither of them (Guerreiro & Malen) have trained with the team yet. I think it will be very difficult for Rapha. Donyell ran yesterday, so we have to see what is possible for today."
Dortmund will not want to underestimate Fürth. Still, Marco Rose will have an eye on the Augsburg match, their victory against Bayern fresh in his mind.
Given his good form, I expect Brandt to make his return to the starting lineup, joined by Hazard who will be looking to recover some match sharpness. Hopefully the end of the week will be enough time for Guerreiro to recover so he can play at Augsburg to give Nico Schulz some relief, and Malen can return to provide Haaland some cover as well. Guerreiro and Haaland are two stars Dortmund simply cannot afford to lose again.
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The Fürth striker is no stranger to Bundesliga opposition, having plied his trade for both Borussia Monchengladbach and Eintracht Frankfurt over the course of his career. He has racked up the most minutes for our opposition this season, knocking in four goals and laying on a fürther three despite his team’s dismal form (fbref). Admittedly three of those were penalties but hey, he got them in. Hrgota will have seen Dortmund before and have some preparation for the atmosphere that his teammates may not have faced before. Still, even a shaky pairing of Mats Hummels and Danny Zagadou should be able to marshal the German-turned-Swede.
Bochum aren’t great, but Greuther Fürth are really, really bad. There should be no excuse for anything other than a win tomorrow. Dortmund need to go out and do their job, follow the lead of their captain, and most of all, stay focused.