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Matchday Preview: Borussia Dortmund host Enrico Maaßen’s FC Augsburg to kick off Die Rückrunde!

The Black and Yellows have some catching up to do, as they return to the Signal Iduna Park.

FC Augsburg v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images

We’re finally back!

Welcome back to the regular schedule everyone! I’ve missed writing for Fear the Wall quite a lot, and I hope you’re just as excited as I am for the second half of the season. After what seems like an eternity, Borussia Dortmund finally return to action tomorrow when they host FC Augsburg at The Westfalenstadion. The break came at a perfect time for the boys in Black and Yellow. The team finished Die Hindrunde with two consecutive defeats against Wolfsburg (2-0) and Borussia Mönchengladbach (4-2), and the break might have prevented a possible start to a downward spiral.

The break has been long, but it has also been a blessing for Terzic and his team. We’ve seen several players return to action, including Sebastien Haller, who against all odds completed the whole training camp in Marbella and even bagged a hattrick in a friendly against Fortuna Düsseldorf. Other players who have returned include Marco Reus, Mo Dahoud, Jamie Bynoe-Gittens and Marius Wolf. On another positive note, Mateu Morey is also expected to slowly be re-integrated into the team, and he might compete for the right back spot with new signing Julian Ryerson, now that Thomas Meunier is out injured.

Terzic stated just before the break, that Borussia Dortmund are starting Die Rückrunde from behind. Die Schwarzgelben are currently sitting in 6th place in the table, which is obviously not a satisfying position. Therefore, the goal for the second half of the season is clear and simple: Win as many games as possible - starting on Sunday.


Our Opponent: A Familiar Face

If you’ve heard the name Enrico Maaßen before, there’s a good reason for it. The current Augsburg coach was the in charge of BVB II until the end of the 21/22 season, and he even got them promoted to the 3. Bundesliga from the Regionalliga West. His impressive showings with Dortmund earned him a 3-year contract with FC Augsburg, and so far it has been bad, but not horrible. Augsburg are currently finding themselves in 14th place, just one point above the relegation zone. They haven’t won a game in their last eight Bundesliga matches, but luckily for them, bottom feeders Schalke 04 and Bochum are really struggling for points. Augsburg have been battling relegation many times over the last couple of years, and they always miraculously survive. Augsburg have caused BVB some issues in the past, and Enrico Maaßen’s optimistic and direct playstyle could see them at least getting a goal in Dortmund.

The Bavaria-based team has done some business in the transfer window as well. Veteran striker Florian Niederlechner has been sold to Hertha Berlin, while young striker Kelvin Yeboah has joined the club on loan from Genoa. American youngster Ricardo Pepi has been loaned out to FC Groningen for the rest of the season, and 20-year old striker Dion Beljo has joined the club from 3rd-placed Croatian team NS Osijek, where he has produced promising numbers despite his age.

Predicted Lineup:

The team sheet probably won’t feature Mateu Morey, while Thomas Meunier has a torn muscle fibre which is expected to sideline him for up to six weeks. It’ll be interesting to see whether some of the returning players are fit enough to feature in a starting XI, but I doubt it. While Julian Ryerson should be fit to start, Terzic might opt for Niklas Süle, who has more experience with the current system.

I expect Moukoko to lead the line, as he has been looking great recently. Rumors are flying that he will sign a contract extension any day now, and if that’s true, he might show some extra commitment up front. Brandt has been going a bit under the radar as one of Borussia Dortmund’s best offensive cards for the first half of the season, and I fully expect him to be the creative force against Augsburg (looking at you, Yash). The rest of the lineup is pretty much self-explanatory. I don’t see Dahoud being fit for a full 90 minutes yet, and the backline has been intact for most of the season.


Augsburg haven’t won in eight straight games, and even though the break might have been good for them, they have done some questionable business mid-season in letting Florian Niederlechner leave. Dortmund will be playing in a sold-out Westfalenstadion, and they really do have a point to prove. They have been scoring goals for fun during the training camp, and although you necessarily can’t draw any conclusions from that, the team spirit seems good. I predict a 4-0 victory for BVB.