After a long, arduous, injury-filled international break, Borussia Dortmund returns to action in the Bundesliga with a short trip down the road to Köln. BVB made the trip to Köln twice this summer to snatch away their best players, so a return to the RheinEnergieStadion should certainly prove heated. In the absence of skipper Marco Reus, Dortmund will be looking for leadership on the field and with a thin midfield line, those available will have to step up their game to secure three important points for BVB.
The coming weeks will be exceptionally challenging for Dortmund, with Champions League matches and high-octane Bundesliga games coming fast and frequently. The squad members who were able to rest and heal over the break need to be fit and firing for a critical stage of the season.
For Matchday 8, Edin Terzic will have the chance to field a bit of a new look lineup. With Malen and Adeyemi fully fit, expect both to reclaim starting roles on the wing.
In the absence of Marco Reus, it is conceivable that Terzic will give Bellingham more creative freedom to partner with Brandt and progress the ball. Köln is likely to sit back, so some progressive play with be required. At the back, I would like to Niklas Süle in the lineup. Between him and Schlotterbeck, Süle had the better international break and needs to start finding a consistent run in the team. I do not imagine Terzic will risk either Özcan or Kobel yet with bigger games to come.
Player to Watch: Stefan Tigges
Tigges is a certified baller. A monster in the air and a tireless worker, the German made the move to the Billygoats over the summer and is finding his role in the team after Sebastian Andersson picked up a knee injury in August. Most BVB fans are eager to see Tigges succeed in the Bundesliga, just hopefully not against his old team!
With the players available, Dortmund should be able to manage this match. Köln is coming off a draw and a loss in the league before the break and has only mounted a mediocre start to the season, now working with a striker still adjusting to his team. Dortmund will likely struggle against the low block for another week, but with a single breakthrough for another 1-0.