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Match Preview: Dortmund Take On An In-Form Bayer Leverkusen

With Bayern Munich and Eintracht Frankfurt ending in a draw, Borussia Dortmund can end the matchday in fourth place.

Borussia Dortmund v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - Bundesliga Photo by Joachim Bywaletz/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

It’s officially the Rückrunde in the Bundesliga and Dortmund will be looking to continue their winning start with a victory against Bayer Leverkusen. Dortmund enter this game with two unconvincing wins since the resumption of the Bundesliga. Leverkusen, a much tougher team than Mainz and Augsburg, will be a difficult matchup. They enter this contest on a five-game Bundesliga win streak, having beat both Bochum and Borussia Monchengladbach. The home side look like a team renewed under rookie coach, Xabi Alonso, and they are 9th in the Bundesliga, seven points behind European spots. They will be hungry for a win against Borussia Dortmund.

On the other hand, Dortmund will be praying that this game does not require a late Giovanni Reyna goal to take home all three points. Fortunately, Jude Bellingham will be returning to the lineup and should add some much-needed energy after a difficult 2-1 victory of Mainz. Equally important, players like Marco Reus, Mahmoud Dahoud, Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, and even Giovanni Reyna will all be closer to 100% fitness and could see more substantial minutes.

When the two sides played on Matchday 1 this season, it was anything but boring despite the 1-0 scoreline. While Reus scored a 10th-minute winner, both sides put up a back-and-forth display that saw five big chances created between them. The matches also ended with Leverkusen goalie, Hradecky, being sent off in the 90th minute for handling the ball outside of the box.

Needless to say, it will be a very different Leverkusen side that Dortmund face tomorrow compared to the one from earlier this season.

Leverkusen Player to Watch: Florian Wirtz

Bayer 04 Leverkusen v VfL Bochum 1848 - Bundesliga Photo by Joachim Bywaletz/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

He’s back! Florian Wirtz has returned to pitch after a nine-month injury sustained in March of 2022. The young German wunderkind got an assist midweek against Bochum and will now be looking to start once again for Leverkusen. The 19-year-old has been one of the best creators in the Bundesliga when fit and will be looking to provide opportunities for both Moussa Diaby and Adam Hlozek. Will Özcan and Dortmund’s defense be up to the challenge? Probably not!

Probably Lineup

For the lineup, I’m predicting something a lot of you will be outraged with. At the back, I think both Süle and Schlotterbeck did a decent job against Mainz while Hummels struggled against Augsburg. Hummels has been terrific for Dortmund, especially before the World Cup, but will be exposed by Leverkusen’s quick and dynamic attack. In midfield, I actually see Can playing after a decent performance against Mainz and Brandt coming to the bench after his poor performance. I’m less than convinced about this prediction but I know Terzic is a huge fan of Can (of course) and won’t be surprised if he opts for a more defensive midfield. In attack, I expect Adeyemi, Malen, and Moukoko to get the start despite being as productive as tranquilized sloths.

Score Prediction

Leverkusen are in a purple patch and Dortmund have had defensive struggles. All the signs point to a 5-4 game with defensive lapses, fantastic goals, and drama. In that case, I’m predicting a 2-1 Dortmund win with a Reyna winner in the 86th minute.