After a fairly comfortable win and clean sheet against Stuttgart, BVB will head back home this Saturday to square off against a VfL Wolfsburg side that has spent a majority of the season struggling towards the bottom of the table. Despite the fact that Wolfsburg has struggled this year, they head to Dortmund after beating up on Armenia Bielefeld last week, and with the threat of relegation still looming, they’ll have more to play for in the fixture. Marco Rose’s side will have to work up the motivation for what is a largely meaningless match for them if they want to fend off their opponents.
Though the 2-0 scoreline from last week’s match may suggest that Dortmund had a competent day in defense, the reality is that they caught some lucky breaks against Stuttgart, as they allowed an expected goals tally of 1.86. Fortunately, Wolfsburg is a side that has really struggled to score this season. After starting the campaign off with 4 straight wins, the side only managed to score just 27 Bundesliga goals, 8 of which came from 2 games against Fürth and Bielefeld. If BVB doesn’t manage to stop their attack on Saturday, then they’ll likely have to pull a Niklas Süle and announce Nico Schlotterbeck on Sunday morning to calm things down.
On the injury front, the black and yellows will once again be without several key players. Gio Reyna, Mo Dahoud, Mats Hummels and Donyell Malen all picked up injuries last week that will prevent them from playing on Saturday. Emre Can, Marius Wolf and Axel Witsel are also in danger of missing matches soon as they are all at risk of reaching the yellow card limit and being banned from the next match. In more positive news, though, youngsters Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, Tom Rothe and Lion Semic all took part in the final training session this week, which means they’ll likely make the bench for the match ahead. Let’s hope they get some first-team minutes to show what they’ve got.
With so many injuries to last week's eleven, it’s hard to predict what Marco Rose will go with against Wolfsburg, but the lack of center backs in the squad makes a four at the back almost a necessity. Rose may choose to play Dan-Axel Zagadou instead of Marin Pongracic, but with the Ivorian leaving the club this summer, I expect him to go with experience over youth in this case. Julian Brandt will also re-enter the starting eleven after his great performance against Stuttgart last week. Other than that, Nico Schulz will have to fill in for Raphael Guerreiro, who is still a question mark heading into tomorrow's match.
I think Borussia Dortmund will win this game purely because of Wolfburg’s godawful play this season. Dortmund will win this match 4-1.