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Bundesliga Match Preview: Injury-Riddled Borussia Dortmund Host Arminia Bielefeld

BVB look to narrow the Bundesliga gap to 7 points, with a game in hand.

Rangers FC v Borussia Dortmund: Knockout Round Play-Offs Leg Two - UEFA Europa League Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

If you thought, like me, that Borussia Dortmund had nothing left to play for this season, then you may

Despite all the pessimism, injuries, and depressing defeats in various competitions that BVB have suffered over the past few months, they are still ten only ten points behind Bayern Munich with two games in hand. If they win their next two games... and that’s a big if... they will only be four points back, with eight games remaining in the league, a gap that is, at least theoretically, more than vulnerable, especially considering the two clubs have one more match to play against each other.

The issue is that, BVB have proven that there is no such thing as a “guaranteed win,” even against a relegation candidate like Arminia Bielefeld, who have the worst offensive record in the Bundesliga. Even Bielefeld, who have averaged less than a goal per game this season, must be salivating at the thought of facing BVB tomorrow.

We’ve complained endlessly about the constant barrage of injuries that BVB have had to deal with, but I suspect this may actually be the worst it’s been all season. Not a single member of Dortmund’s ideal back line will be available, with each of Thomas Meunier, Manuel Akanji, Mats Hummels, and Raphael Guerreiro either injured or infected with COVID. Marco Reus also now has COVID, so he won’t play. Gio Reyna and Erling Haaland both missed training yesterday, and even though Ruhr Nachrichten says they might be able to make the squad, I wouldn’t count on it.

So who does that even leave to take the pitch? Reinier? I guess so:

Oof

That back line does not inspire confidence. At all. The most trustworthy player, by a wide margin, is Marius Wolf, which says much more about the other three players than it does about Wolf. The attack is a bit more respectable, and should Haaland and Reyna miraculously be ready to play, it could still be quite lethal. If this is the squad, then Reinier might finally get the significant minutes he’s been waiting for for ~2 years.

This is a squad that would probably finish around 8th in the Bundesliga, and it is the best guess for a squad that, if it wins its next two games, could theoretically pull within four points of Bayern Munich at the top of the table. No pressure!

Prediction

This is a match that BVB need to win; therefore they won’t, especially not with that back line. 2-2.