Borussia vs. Karlsruhe ? go on BVB!
What a real great Borussia feeling during the last weeks! After the 2:0 win in Frankfurt last Saturday, Borussia equalled the club record of six wins in a row and climbed to the sixth place in the league!
That means one place ahead of Sch...e the local rival from the Gelsenkirchen suburb! But much more important: the gap to place 5, which means the ticket to the Europe league, is reduced to 3 points now.
Our next match this Saturday will be against Karlsruher SC (KSC) in our Westfalenstadion. The club from the South west of Germany is currently last of the table and needs 4 points to escape from the relegation zone. The last win of KSC in Dortmund is 21 years ago. So, in the eyes of many Borussia fans an easy job to win against Karlsruhe. But also many of us experienced in the past what all can happen when our team played against so called "weaker teams".
Karlsruhe's Bundesliga chronicle is full of ups and downs, to be honest more downs with several relegations even into the third division in 2000. After an absence of nine years with a lot of sporting and financial crises Karlsruhe returned into the Bundesliga in 2007. In season 2007/2008 Karlsruhe finished the season in position 11 and - as mentioned above - this year the club is threatening to relegate again.
Taking a look at Karlsruhe's position in the table it is obviously that beside Cottbus, KSC shows the biggest negative goal difference (-25). Up to now the team shot only 21 goals which is the lowest figure in the league. So it's no secret that strikers and midfielders are the weaker parts in Karlsruhe's squad. Top scorer is striker Sebastian Freis, with 8 goals up to now, followed by Antonio da Silva, Massimilian Parcello and Giovanni Federico, each with two goals. The latter is not unknown for BVB fans. In the beginning of the last season Federico changed from Karlsruhe to Borussia. Since the beginning of the second leg this season he's back on loan in Karlsruhe. During his BVB time, Federico showed sometimes his high technical skills with excellent shots on goal but all in all his kind of playing was a little bit too phlegmatic for Jürgen Klopp's Borussia team. Uncertain if he will stay in Karlsruhe, or if he will return to BVB at the end of the season. It all depends on Karlsruhe's near future - relegation or not.
Key players of Karlsruhe's defensive are goalkeeper Markus Miller and Maik Franz, a defender with a very uncompromising and often hard style to play. After a long time injury he returned last Saturday against relegation competitor Cottbus (0:0) into Karlsruhe's team. All Borussia strikers please take care when playing directly against him!
No troubles for Borussia's team! Only Mats Hummels will be not able to play. Although Sebastian Kehl had to interrupt his training we will see him Saturday on the green. Good news about our goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller. For the international matches of Germany against China and United Arab Emirates he probably will be nominated. A deserved honor for Roman, who played on a constant high level during the last months. For our midfielder Tamas Hajnal the match against Karlsruhe will be surely not a normal match. Like Giovanni Federico on the other side he will meet a lot of old friends on Saturday: Karlsruhe supporters and former teammates have Hajnal in good memory because he was the most creative player in KSC's team last year. But we must have no doubts with regard to Tamas Hajnal's attitude. In an interview his statement was clear: "I hope my former teammates will not have a nice Saturday afternoon in Dortmund". Strikers Alexander Frei and Nelson Valdez will probably be Jürgen Klopp's first choice. After his important goal in Frankfurt, Mohamed Zidan will be the best alternative as a possible replacement during the match.
So, some hours before the kick-off in our Westfalenstadion all premises look promising for our seventh win in a row. But in our probably outsold stadium we should be not too optimistic!. We all know football will never be calculable and nearly every matchday has its special surprises! Karlsruhe is still fighting against relegation and will try everything not to lose. Also one big warning should be in all our minds: Two weeks ago, Karlsruhe won 1:0 in Leverkusen and Leverkusen was also the odds-on favorite. A sufficient reason to see Karlsruhe's team with all respect and caution!
But our great Borussia feeling during the last matches includes one element which was nearly forgotten in the season before: Trust! And that means simple that we have enough trust in our team, to take away another hurdle on the way to Europe! Also we all know that the situation seems to be unchanged: It's necessary for Borussia that the teams above us will lose points in the four remaining matches. In addition to this it's essential to keep the distance to the suburb team Sch...e! But let's abstain to forecast the possible results of our rivals on the way to the Europe league. We can only influence our own results and after our match against Karlsruhe let's take a look what happened on the green in Stuttgart (against Wolfsburg), Bremen (against Hamburg), Berlin (against Bochum) and Sch...e (in Mönchengladbach)!
Let's close this pre report with the result of a survey. Germany's biggest football magazine "Kicker" asked 22.000 football fans about the chances of BVB to play in the Europe league next year. Nearly 70 % said "Yes, Borussia will jump into the top five until the end of the season and will qualify for the Europe league". Let's hope that they are right!