In Borussia Dortmund’s last match before the players go to compete in the World Cup, or watch the tournament from home (Looking at you Marco and Mats), the team takes on Borussia Monchengladbach. Now, usually this is the Battle of the Borussias but this season I’m pretty sure it’s the ‘Marco Rose Come Home’ Derby.
The team will be looking to end their last competitive game of 22’ on a high note and recover from an absolutely dismal game against Wolfsburg on Tuesday. The team continues to deal with poor finishing and now lapses in defensive contribution, which were less apparent during the start of this season, have begun to become more apparent. In what is usually an end-to-end affair, Dortmund needs to find their ability to put the ball in the back of the net and stay focused defensively.
Dortmund’s opponent, Borussia Monchengladbach, have had an even more difficult time in the Bundesliga this season and boast just one win in their last 6 games. This stretch includes a defeat in the DFB Pokal to Darmstadt. Their record is 5-4-5 this season with a goal difference of just 2. Daniel Farke will be hoping his team can pull out a win tomorrow, probably for his own sake as coach.
Players to Watch: Julian Weigl and Marcus Thurman
I know this story all too well. Beloved youngster leaves team after being relegated to the bench and eventually returns to face his former side. Julian Weigl, who I’m alluding to, will be likely be starting for Borussia Monchengladbach tomorrow alongside Kone, who is fantastic, and Kramer in midfield. Similar to his role at Dortmund, Weigl will be looking to shuttle the ball between the defense and Monchengladbach’s lethal offense. Monchengladbach have a lot of pace up top and it will be vital that Borussia Dortmund limits service to their attacking players. The best way to do that? Shut down Weigl (And Kone).
Speaking about Borussia Monchengladbach’s attackers, Bayern Munich-linked forward Marcus Thuram is easily the most lethal player on the pitch for both sides tomorrow. The Frenchman has formed a threatening partnership with his compatriot, Alassane Plea, and will be looking to stretch Dortmund’s defense. Schlotterbeck and Sule, Dortmund’s paciest defenders, will have a lot on their plate tomorrow to stop Thuram from adding to his 9 goals and 3 assists.
Watch this and note: 1. The Verticality BMG use to stretch defences. 2. Thuram’s ability pull defenders for BMG’s first goal. 2. His ability to find space and finish quickly for BMG’s second.
I’m predicting this lineup for tomorrow:
Very similar to the one we had against Wolfsburg except I think Adeyemi is replaced by Gio Reyna. Malen has struggled this past few games but I think he still deserves the nod over Karim. I also wouldn’t be averse to Reyna playing on the left side so we can see a matchup of him and his best friend, Joe Scally, throughout the match. Schlotterbeck and Süle will be vital in this game, as they have to close down both Plea and Thuram while Bellingham and Ozcan have to be wary of late runs into the box by Jonas Hofmann.
4-1 Borussia Dortmund. Bold prediction from an optimist but I’m declaring it right now: This is the Gio Reyna game. Emboldened by his ticket to the World Cup and motivated by competing against his best friend, Reyna is going to score a hat trick. Brandt will get Dortmund’s other goal and Hoffman will score at the start of the second half for BMG. Please be sure to yell at me next Wednesday on the Daily Bee when we lose 5-1 and Reyna is hauled off injured.