Big-match April rolls onward for BVB, this time with a cup contest.
Dortmund landed in Leipzig today to prepare for a match that has season-defining potential, much like the ‘Klassiker’ at the weekend. Terzic and Dortmund cannot afford to get this one wrong, lest a promising season with great momentum goes completely awry.
BVB will face Leipzig for the second time in 2023, having collected three league points from the energy drinks back in March. Since then, BVB have been indomitable in the league apart from their loss to the Bavarian giants. With the team on unstable footing and injury creeping into the squad, Terzic will need to bring more than his A-game into the match to get BVB the result they simply cannot leave Leipzig without.
Leipzig have found themselves in an unsavory patch of form, pairing a loss to bottom-dwelling Bochum with a violent dismantling at the hands of Manchester City, and a surprise loss to Bo Svensson’s plucky Mainz team. Marco Rose will be looking closely at the game against BVB from just a few weeks ago to seek out a way to get his team’s form back intact.
Player to Watch: The Striker
In Leipzig’s last three games, Marco Rose has gone looking for goals to no avail, tinkering with his forward line in each match. Timo Werner led the line against Manchester City, with a single shot off-target to report. Against Bochum, Andre Silva peppered the goal but nothing would fall for the Portuguese forward. With Mainz, Neither Silva nor Werner could get the ball into the net, and both were poor on the day. Rose could risk Nkunku, who is returning from injury, but his last injury return against BVB put him back on the sidelines, so Rose may think twice, be it superstition or otherwise.
Nico Schlotterbeck is out for the foreseeable future, so one seasoned old man will make his way back into the starting eleven. Sébastien Haller is also out, likely carrying a knock from a few of the hard hits he took in Munich. Terzic has not, thus far, commented on the severity.
Following an abject performance against Bayern, Marco Reus should see the drop. Terzic may opt to go defensive in the midfield, looking to snuff out Leipzig’s fluid forwards and provide extra cover for Hummels, who will need to regain his 90-minute sea legs. Donny Malen should return to the eleven, with few options otherwise and a good performance against Köln followed by a goal in Munich.
2-2 at full-time, and I dare not comment on what happens after that.