Meeting old Acquiantances
On Saturday afternoon, a piece of the 7th championship returns to Dortmund. Sparring partner 1. FC Nuremberg. Only too well we remember the 30th of April, the goals of Lucas Barrios and Robert Lewandowski, Nobby Dickel who proclaimed the intermediate result from Cologne and of course the following memorable celebration weeks with the climax on the 15th of May.
One person that also stood on that pitch on the 30th of April will be spotlighted again this weekend. Back then he wore the colors of Nuremberg and was put in after the restart. The man has a heavy load in Dortmund since the yellow press tries to force him into the role of Nuri Sahins successor. The man who will meet his old teammates, the man with the beard: Ilkay Gündogan.
Similar to the whole team he showed a promising performance in the opener against Hamburger SV but it became clear that Ilkay will not be the successor of Nuri Sahin. No one forces him to do so – instead of the media. In contrast to Nuri Sahin, who played his unadorned passes from the deep of the pitch, he operates much nearer to the box and tries to draw attention to his teammates with his short passes. A comparison is out of the question.
Last weekend he stroke a bad patch, just like the whole team. Compared to the opener our players seemed to be quite exhausted. But it was not the physique of the players I critize, instead the team of teary Didi was in a better mental constitution. Everytime someone of our Black and Yellows captured the ball, it was lost within seconds. Is the team going to collapse under the expectations? Certainly not! Our team is just not capable to face hard tackling teams – the style of play that Hoppenheim presents.
Our team has to bridge the loss and transfer the promising performance from the first home match to the pitch on Saturday. The 1. FC Nuremberg has to bear the leavings of key players Andreas Wolf, Marek Mintal, Ilkay Gündogan, Julian Schieber and Mehmet Ekici but still has promising talents such as Daniel Didavi, Marvin Plattenhardt, Philipp Wollscheid and Jens Hegeler in its own squad. The team is complemented by ex-Borussian and model professional Markus Feulner. Like in the last season Nuremberg has to prove oneself and should not be underestimated.
Possible is also the return of Neven Subotic and Marcel Schmelzer. "Schmelle was able to absolve all of the last training sessions", said coach Jürgen Klopp about his left-back. He would be able to play for 90 minutes but if he will have a place in the starting line-up is still unclear. According to Klopp our Serbian Subotic is free of complaints but Klopp will wait and see how both returnees will do in the training sessions on Thursday and Friday.
Gear up Black and Yellows!
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer - Bender, Gündogan - Großkreutz, Kagawa, Götze - Lewandowski.
Substitute's Bench: Langerak - Santana, Zidan, Perisic, Kehl, Leitner, da Silva, Kuba, Löwe.
Questionable: Schmelzer, Subotic.
Missing: Barrios, Owomoyela, Koch, Bakalorz.
1. FC Nuremberg: Rakovsky - Chandler, Wollscheid, Klose, Pinola - Simons - Mak, Feulner, Cohen, Eigler - Pekhart.
Referee: Felix Zwayer (Berlin).
Attendance: Westfalenstadion Dortmund (800 tickets for supporters of Borussia and 2,700 tickets for Nuremberg are still available).