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What a nightmare it was on Tuesday evening! Let's face the facts: During the first 45 minutes our beloved team showed a brilliant performance and strengthened the faith in a wonder, and the rest is history. It hurt to see the Black and Yellow heroes fail but simultaneously reminded me of a poem that my fellow steph often uses:
"The two walk together
the other supports him.
This one swears,
that one whispers verses
into a sea of his own verses.
This one falls, that one rises
to lift the other up, to comfort him.
Sometimes, only sometimes they are one,
then they shine, then he shines through them."
[ Dane Zajc ]
We have to recognize that Champions-League is over – at least for this season. But frustration has already gone. Too strong is the connection between the team and the supporters that developed through the last years: "One staggers, the other supports him." Kaiserslautern is up next.
Borussia Dortmund will face 1. FC Kaiserslautern which is currently on the 16th place in the standings. Different from last season, in which the promoters showed promising performances and saved the stay in the Bundesliga quite early, the team does not get going until yet. Only eleven goals out of fifteen matches means the worst offensive of the current season. As a consequence only three matches could be won. Certainly one should not forget the difficult financial situation around the "Betzenberg", that does not allow huge transfer activities. Especially the leavings of key players like Srdjan Lakic (VFL Golfsburg) and Ivo Ilicevic (Hamburger SV) hit the team of coach Marco Kurz. It will be interesting to see which tactical formation the "Red Devils" are going to choose to anger Borussia. Most probable the team will focus on defending and hope for a successful counterattack. Full-back Florian Dick answered when he was asked about the upcoming match on Sunday: "Maybe Borussia Dortmund has a bad day and we are going to have a good one." Certainly not!
With proceeding first half of the season the squad of Borussia Dortmund shrivels more and more since Sebastian Kehl enlarged the injury list around long-term casualties Neven Subotic, Julian Koch, Moritz Leitner and Sven Bender. Fortunately, a return of the skipper in December is, in opposition to the other casualties who will return next year, still possible. Certain is his miss in the upcoming match. Corresponding to this topic, here comes the problem: Which players will build our defensive midfield? It does not seem quite a stretch that new signing Ilkay Guendogan will appear in the starting-lineup on Sunday due to the fact, that he proved an upturn in form during the last two matches. It wouldn't be lying to say that he showed his best performance in Black and Yellow during the first half against Olympique Marseille. The alternatives for the second position are far and few between. Antonio Da Silva seemed quite overchallenged against Marseille, long runner Florian Kringe has no match practice and greenhorn Marvin Bakalorz has no minute played in Bundesliga yet. Possible would be a change of the tactical formation into an 4-3-2-1. In these days I am glad that I am not Juergen Klopp! Despite this mentioned injury crisis of Borussia Dortmund, the squad has still enough quality and skill to be able to defeat its next opponent. So that it will once again be:
"Sometimes, only sometimes they are one, then they shine, then he shines through them."
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Schmelzer, Hummels, Santana, Piszczek - Guendogan, Da Silva (?) - Goetze, Lewandowski, Kuba - Barrios
Substitute's Bench: Langerak, Loewe, Owomoyela, Kagawa, Perisic, Großkreutz
1. FC Kaiserslautern: Trapp - Dick, Amedick, Abel, Bugera - Kirch, De Wit - Sahan, Tiffert, Fortounis - Kouemaha
Substitute's Bench: Sippel, Jessen, Rodnei, Walch, Sukuta-Pasu, Nemec, Shechter
Referee: Aytekin (Oberasbach)
Kickoff: 10th of December 2011 - 3.30. p.m. CET.
Attendance: Westfalenstadion Dortmund - capacity of 80,720 - sold-out - 3,500 supporters of Kaiserslautern are expected