I’m sure everyone has seen the results in the Bundesliga today. BVB needed some outside help to get within reach of the Meisterschale, and it looks like they got exactly that! Bottlin’ Bayern Munich gave up a 1-0 lead against RB Leipzig and ended up losing 3-1, which means that all Borussia Dortmund need to do to be crowned Bundesliga champions is win their remaining games. How hard can it be, right?
Well tomorrow BVB travel to Bavaria to face Augsburg, who currently sit in 14th, just three points from the relegation playoff spot. Although they’re technically not safe yet, Augsburg’s chances of going down are vanishingly small, and would require a lot of unlikely events happening, so let's hope they know that and play like their season is over!
Augsburg’s form hasn’t been much to write about, picking up a win and two draws in the last five games, though their home form is a lot better (two wins, two draws). As we all know, Borussia Dortmund have a painful habit of fumbling the bag, especially away from home. They haven’t won away from home since the end of February. I guess now is as good a time as any to fix that.
Player to Watch: Jeffrey Gouweleeuw
I went back and forth on this a little, because while this Augsburg team isn’t pulling up trees, it’s not a team that is built around one guy doing all the heavy lifting. There’s a few solid, dependable contributors, like the forwards Mergim Berisha and Ermedin Demirović, who have shared the load in front of goal, midfielder Arne Maier, or goalkeeper Rafał Gikiewicz, who has continued to be dependable at the other end. However, Gikiewicz is out injured at the moment, and Maier is questionable for Sunday’s game too.
Instead, I’ve gone for Augsburg’s captain, Jeffrey Gouweleeuw. The Dutch center back has had a solid season, and has been a big part of Augsburg’s success on both ends of the ball. Augsburg haven’t had a great season, but they have probably secured Bundesliga football for another season, and in part due to Enrico Maaßen getting this squad all pulling in the same direction, and getting positive contributions from multiple players in his squad.
Predicted Lineup: 4-3-3
It’s looking increasingly likely that Jude Bellingham won’t be good to go tomorrow, though it hasn’t been confirmed yet. Missing Jude in midfield is going to hurt, and I’m not sure if my predicted lineup is wishful thinking, or a mad idea I’ve cooked up that’s never going to happen. I’m not even 100% sure it’s a good idea, to be honest, but here we are. I would consider putting Guerreiro in Bellingham’s place and letting him and Brandt cook.
That said, this lineup is probably asking quite a lot of Emre Can, and it would need both Brandt and Guerreiro to do their bit out-of-possession, because it’s a pretty offensive eleven. It’s possible that Terzic goes a little more conservative and starts Salih Özcan in the middle instead.
One thing's for sure, though. It won’t be Mahmoud Dahoud, because Edin Terzic hates his guts!
Predicted Score: 2-1
You know what, I could be a Negative Nancy about it, but I’m choosing to believe. I’m sure BVB will make it a little harder than we’d like (and a little harder than is entirely necessary), but I think they will come out on top and surpass Bayern Munich at the top of the table. I’ve always liked RB Leipzig. What great guys.