The. Journey. Starts. Here. The Bundesliga is back with a bang, baby. Borussia Dortmund will host Eintracht Frankfurt Saturday at the Westfalenstadion, and new coach Marco Rose will be looking to get off to a great start just as BVB did in the DFB Pokal this past weekend. A comprehensive 3-0 victory of a third division side served at the perfect appetizer for this weekend’s clash with Die Adler. A hat trick of goals from star striker Erling Haaland saw Die Schwarzgelben through, but it was truly a strong performance for most of the players on the pitch. Here is how Borussia Dortmund may lineup:
Dortmund still have injuries and Covid-19 quarantine issues at the back, leaving Manuel “Mr. Reliable” Akanji as the lone defender who we should expect to start the majority of the season. Hopefully, Mats Hummels and Raphael Guerreiro will be back in the lineup sooner rather than later, and at right back, “well”, “um”, anyway........yeah let’s move on. Nico Schulz and Felix Passlack should keep their place at full back with Gregor Kobel taking his place between the sticks. Ruhr Nachrichten is reporting that Emre Can should be back and will most likely take a starting place at center back next to Akanji. While Rose could opt to stick with Antonios Papadopoulos who started in the cup and all the preseason matches, the youngster looked erratic with the ball at his feet, so we should look for Can to replace him.
Expect the midfield to remain the same despite having the likes of Axel Witsel and Thomas Delaney back in contention. The Danish destroyer is still at the club despite being told he surplus to requirements, but Rose did utilize him as a sub against Wiesbaden. Marco Reus will run the attack at the tip of the diamond and will be aided by Jude Bellingham and Giovanni Reyna while Mahmoud Dahoud sits deep. Steffen Tigges started alongside Haaland for the cup match but expect to see Donyell Malen from the first whistle this weekend. Tigges works hard, but is still yet to score for the senior team while Malen is an explosive striker signed for €30M euro during this transfer window.
The visitors come into this match off a shocking 2-0 loss in the DFB Pokal, where they were thoroughly outplayed by a lower division side. Frankfurt only mustered one shot on target in 90 minutes, while their captain Martin Hinterigger was sent off after receiving a second booking. It seems as if the poor form has continued from last season when the Eagles had a late season collapse in their quest for Champions League. Huge wins over Dortmund and Wolfsburg made Frankfurt look like bankers for Europe’s top club competition, but losses to Borussia Monchengladbach, Bayer Leverkusen, and Schalke of all clubs derailed their hopes of a top four finish.
Coach Adi Hutter was replaced by Oliver Glasner but has seen his club fail to bring in proper reinforcements for an upcoming Europa League campaign. Andre Silva was sold to Leipzig, Luka Jovic is back at Real Madrid, and Filip Kostic was not even in the squad for the cup match as their are rumors of him transferring out. Frankfurt still have several good players, particularly Daichi Kamada who will operate as a playmaker between the lines for Die Adler. Here is how Frankfurt may lineup:
This is mostly how Frankfurt lined up in the cup match the other day, but expect Erik Durm to come in at right wing back for Danny Da Costa. Durm played well last year for Frankfurt and also lets go with the “he used to play for BVB so he has something to prove” thing that coaches like to do. Remember Marius Wolf for Köln last year against BVB? Christopher Lenz has seemingly been brought in to replace Kostic and the rest of the midfield and defense remains the same. As mentioned, Kamada is the danger man in attack having scored 5 goals and laid on 12 assists in 28 Bundesliga starts last season. However, the Japanese International is more of a creator and with last seasons strike team gone, he may struggle for a while. Rafael Santos Borre was brought in on a free from River Plate, but seeing that Frankfurt managed one shot last weekend, one should expect Goncalo Paciencia to get a start this match.
Borussia Dortmund should come away with a victory here, and it could potentially be a much easier match than having earlier imagined. Despite missing some key defenders, the Dortmund attack will probably be too much to handle for Frankfurt. Haaland is an absolute monster and if the tune up match is anything to go by, expect to see even more goals than last year.
If Haaland and Malen are both standing in front of an empty net and Haaland has the ball, does he pass it to Malen for the tap in? Or does he smash home himself?