Long Time No See
On Sunday afternoon with Eintracht Braunschweig a Bundesliga foundation member returns to Westfalenstadion, after a long period of abstinence. Since 1985 the Lions struggled between the second and third tiers, seeing the rock bottom close ahead in 2008, when the club was struggling financially and athletic. Only a few points would decide whether the club would be relegated to the fourth tier or reach the newly founded third tier. In the end everything went well and only five years later, we welcome Braunschweig back to Bundesliga. However according to the German pundits, it will not take long until the traditional club will return to 2nd Bundesliga. It is not over the top to state, that the Lions face a really though campaign.
Borussia Dortmund and Eintracht Braunschweig have been compared in the past with their quick transition and Gegenpressing and their tireless running. Similar to Dortmund, the city of Braunschweig lives and breathes football. “It's a great challenge that lies in front of us,” coach Torsten Lieberknecht said. “It's not only affecting the team, but also everybody else within the club, from the club office to the groundsman. A lot of people have contributed with lifeblood to help us reaching the Bundesliga. It's a new dimension for everybody. We are really excited.” However Lieberknecht knows what is awaiting the team and that a long stay will not be guaranteed: “Only one year ago, we wanted to develop step by step and suddenly we reached the Bundesliga with these incredible boys. Now we have to see what comes out of it. There are huge economical and athletic differences and we will try everything that is necessary, to stay in Bundesliga.”
During summer, three players made their way to Braunschweig. Simeon Jackson was added to the squad from Norwich, Marco Caligiuri came over from Mainz and Torsten Oehrl returned from FC Augsburg. Besides it is remarkable that only three players of the squad have played more than ten games in Germany's flagship league. Already on last Saturday, the match against SV Werder Bremen (0-1) - a possible rival in relegation battle - showed that gourmet football will not be trademark of Eintracht Braunschweig. Instead the match unveiled a hard fighting team that will do everything to stay in Bundesliga.
"During the second half we created a lot of scoring opportunities,” said Lieberknecht. “A draw or even a win wouldn't have been undeserved. The way in which the team has presented itself today proves, why there are several reasons to look forward to Eintracht Braunschweig. The loss hurts but this day has shown, that we still want to take up the challenge and are able to do so.”
Therefore it is no surprise that Borussia Dortmund will meet an opponent that will try to maintain its defensive compactness as long as possible within Westfalenstadion, and furthermore focus on quick transition. A waiting game is possible.
Black and Yellow Attacking Efforts
Having this scenario in mind, it becomes necessary for the Black and Yellow boys to find solutions for the expected stronghold from Braunschweig. During the week Ilkay Gündogan (back problem) as well as Marco Reus (infection) had health restrictions and were not able to do all training sessions with their national side. While Reus played around 70 minutes against Paraguay on Wednesday, Gündogan had to be substituted after 30 minutes due to his continuing back problems. According to team doctor Markus Braun these back problems worsened after the match against Paraguay. Due to a compression of his backbone the young international will be out for approximately two weeks.
Nevertheless, it seems that new signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan is only a small step away from his Bundeslia debut. This would mean that coach Jürgen Klopp would get a new option for the position as BVBs playmaker. Only a few weeks after an ankle injury, the Armenian makes progress day by day. Still it would be unusual for Klopp to nominate an player into the first team, when he suffered a long period of time. However: Especially with regard to the unsatisfactory performance of Ilkay Gündogan against FC Augsburg, Henrikh could improve the BVB style of play through attacking the opposing defense with intelligent paths, and also through initiating special attacking moments with his pace and directness, that Gündogan lacked last weekend.
Goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller, who missed the two matches against SV Wilhemshaven and FC Augsburg due to an injury and a red card suspension, also expects a difficult game. "We have to be patient," Weidenfeller said. "We shouldn't walk into the trap and get caught on the break. It's about going through with our tactics." In general it will be necessary to avoid conceding a great amount of goals, like last season: "Everyone has realized that we conceded too many goals - and that's why we've lost many points. It's of prime importance to re-establish stability."
Also coach Jürgen Klopp admitted, that the match is not going to be a sure-fire success: "Their interaction and tactical automatisms are brilliant. By now they got a few problems due to the absence of Dogan and Kumbela. They strengthened themselves through new signings and their biggest skill is their team unity. Braunschweig has a good transition and a willingness to retrieve every single error." According to Klopp it will be important to let the ball do the work and to prevent situations in which Eintracht Braunschweig can break.
Go for the home win Black and Yellow!
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Großkreutz, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer - Bender , Sahin - Blaszczykowski, Reus (Mkhitaryan), Aubameyang - Lewandowski.
Substitute's Bench: Langerak, Sokratis, Durm, Bandowski, Bender, Kehl, Hofmann, Sarr, Ducksck, Schieber.
Eintracht Braunschweig: Petkovic - Elabdellaoui, Bicakcic, Dogan, Reichel - Kratz, M. Caligiuri, Theuerkauf - Kruppke, Hochscheidt - Jackson.
Substitute's Bench: Davari, Perthel, Vrancic, G. Korte, Correia, Boland, Oehrl.
Referee: Peter Sippel (Munich)
Kickoff: 18th of August 2013 - 5.30. p.m. CET.
Attendance: Westfalenstadion - 80,645 (sold out)
2nd Matchday Bets: You vs the Editor's
Today: Feras from England vs DerJungeMitDemBall from Schwatzgelb.com
Stuttgart - Leverkusen 1-1 / 0-2
Wolfsburg - Scha*ke 3-2 / 2-1
Bremen - Augsburg 1-2 / 1-1
Freiburg - Mainz 2-2 / 1-2
Hamburg - Hoffenheim 2-0 / 2-1
Frankfurt - München 1-3 / 1-3
Gladbach - Hannover 2-2 / 2-0
Nürnberg - Berlin 1-4 / 2-1
Dortmund - Braunschweig 5-0 / 3-0