Smell that, BVB fans? That’s the smell of gameday.
Borussia Dortmund host TSG Hoffenheim for the first game of the weekend, kicking off for a Friday night match. Hoffenheim has been in high gear to start the season, boasting an identical record to Die Schwarzgelben. Hoffenheim dropped points only to Borussia Monchengladbach, who pipped them to a 3-1 victory on Matchday 2. Dortmund is coming off a rebound victory against Hertha Berlin, who walked away having conceded only one goal due to poor finishing from the BVB forwards. Dortmund has reached the end of the settling-in period of the season and has Champions League football on the calendar next week; the team needs to lay down a statement win, and silence the murmurs around the club about an uncertain start to the season.
Several players will not return to the squad on Friday, with Mahmoud Dahoud still recovering from his shoulder injury. Mateu Morey has been forced back onto the surgery table and his return to the squad has been heavily delayed. My heart weeps for the young Spaniard. Gio Reyna should be available for selection as will Karim Adeyemi.
Hopefully, Edin Terzic will not rush Adeyemi back onto the field, but who are we kidding, this is Borussia Dortmund after all. Expect the young German to start again.
Player to Watch: Andrej Kramaric
No questions about who from Hoffenheim loves to score in Dortmund. Andrej Kramaric has been a thorn in the side of Borussia Dortmund for years, with his 4-goal haul to end Dortmund’s miserable 2019/2020 season of particular stinging memory. Kramaric has a modest goal and two assists since the start of the season but make no mistake; if the Croatian is feeling himself and the defense gives him the space, he will punish Dortmund again and again.
Given the even start to the season both teams have shared, a first draw may be in order for each. This writer is not convinced Terzic has worked out all the issues in the squad, and Hoffenheim has serious quality in their ranks to test BVB in every area of the pitch.