Happy Monday, everyone!
It was a good weekend for the boys in black and yellow. The team managed to overturn their negative goal difference with a 5-0 win against Stuttgart, while league leaders Union Berlin dropped points at the hands of none other than bottom dwellers Bochum! The squad will surely be in high spirits, as this is one of the few convincing victories they have managed so far this season. In the post-match press conference, Edin Terzic emphasized that the team should not be satisfied with this one victory, but rather use it to build upon.
And speaking of building upon a victory. The next assignment almost could not be anymore different, as the team welcomes the mighty Manchester City on Tuesday for a shot at advancing into the knockout stages of this year’s Champions League. If Dortmund can manage something similar to what they achieved in the first leg against The Citizens, we’ll surely be in for an intense match!
Pep Guardiola’s troops seems almost bulletproof at times, but lately they have been showing some small cracks in their stringent approach. Since the last meeting between BVB and The Citizens, the Manchester based club has lost to Liverpool (1-0) and beaten Brighton (3-1). The surprise here not being Liverpool, but Brighton. The Seagulls actually had the majority of possession as well as most passes completed between the two sides. They almost equaled Manchester City in shots (8 to 10), and all in all, it could easily have been a draw on another day.
Based on my digging, City will have all their key player available for this match. Sergio Gomez got suspended against FC Copenhagen, but one might argue that it’s for the worse, as Cancelo will likely take his place. Manuel Akanji slotted in at right back against Brighton, and with both Kyle Walker and Sergio Gomez out, we can expect him to take that position once again.
Dortmund will be without Salih Özcan, who has accumulated enough yellow cards to earn himself as suspension. His natural substitute, Emre Can, had a great showing in the last match against Manchester City and hopefully he’ll be able to replicate parts of that performance.
Moukoko’s tenacity says that he’ll start. Mouki has been somewhat of a revelation since he claimed Anthony Modeste’s place in the starting XI. Julian Brandt has been very consistent lately, and it doesn’t seem like Reus will be fit enough to be at disposal. Reyna too has been looking amazing since his integration back into the first team. He has had great cameos off the bench, and on Saturday, he repaid his place in the starting XI with a goal and three key passes - this this will surely be enough to earn him a start on Tuesday.
The biggest question mark is Karim Adeyemi, who hasn’t quite found his footing yet. Rapha Guerreiro probably won’t be able to venture forward as much as against Stuttgart, and hopefully he won’t get overrun. It’s almost given that Big Fridge Süle will be starting at right back again. He was phenomenal against Stuttgart, and his defensive capabilities will go a long way in terms of getting a good result against one of the best teams in the world.
Also... Player to watch: Some big Norwegian guy who isn’t even going to the world cup.
If Borussia Dortmund are to come away with something from this match, the team will need to put in a world class performance. Those are quite rare these days, but hey - Die Schwarzgelben have managed 2-2 against Bayern, and are just coming off a 5-0 victory against another Bundesliga side. I predict a very hard fought 2-2 draw.