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Match Preview: Dortmund Head to Berlin to face Union

No Haaland? Slight problem.

Borussia Dortmund v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - Bundesliga Photo by Ralf Treese/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

BVB will play Union Berlin in their first match since the disastrous 5-2 loss against Leverkusen. Dortmund faces an Union side that has, once again, consistently overachieved in the league this season. They sit at 5th in the Bundesliga at the moment, and with a win or draw on Sunday, they would re-enter the champions league spots, where they have resided for most of the season. The black and yellows, however, also have a lot to gain with a victory, as Bayern’s defeat at the hands of VfL Bochum will give them some hope to get back in the title race.

The squad will once again be without Erling Haaland as the striker is still recovering from the groin injury he picked up against Hoffenheim. With Donyell Malen doing a sub-par job against Leverkusen last weekend, the question of who will lead the line on Sunday is a bit of a tricky one to answer. Youssoufa Moukoko will obviously be the fan-favorite choice, but he’s still coming back from injury, and Rose has been reluctant to test out his stamina since he’s been back. Steffen Tigges is obviously less gifted technically than Malen and Moukoko, but his physical presence in the box could be more effective against a tough Union defense. Regardless of who he chooses, Rose must make changes up front this weekend, as our attack against Leverkusen was far too ineffective.

Union is coming off of a 2-0 loss to Augsburg last weekend, and having sold Bundesliga veteran Max Kruse to Wolfsburg late in the January transfer window, it will likely take some time for them to adjust their offensive tactics without him. This is great news for a Dortmund side whose defense has been up there with some of the worst in the league this season. Still, the threat of Union’s top scorer Taiwo Awoniyi looms large, as the Nigerian striker has scored nine goals in 18 matches this season. His speed and strength will almost certainly cause the Dortmund defense to falter at least a few times.

Line-Up Prediction

As many others have predicted, I think Dortmund will opt for a three at the back formation against Union. Playing Raphael Guerreiro in a back four has cost the side far too many times, and as we all know, he’s a far more valuable player for us when he’s further up the pitch. Though it won’t be a popular pick, I also think that Steffen Tigges will be chosen to lead the line against the Berlin side. Moukoko and Malen can be difference makers on their day, but against the physical and organized Union defense, they stand a higher chance of getting isolated from our creative players.

Prediction

I don’t think this will be a particularly fun game to watch, but I think the odds of victory are in Dortmund’s favor. Max Kruse is a big loss for Union, and without him, I think they will struggle to break down a three at the back formation even if it’s against a defense as bad as ours. Final score: BVB 2 - Union 1. Feel free to clown me when conceding 4+ goals.