Let's get rolling!
The Bundesliga season so far is a medal with two sides. Collecting 19 points out of the first seven matches was a really superb start. Nonetheless Borussia‘s mess started with a unlucky defeat in Mönchengladbach. Being the far better team they lost 0-2. Finally defeats against Wolfsburg, Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen and Hertha BSC saw Borussia Dortmund falling down to fourth place. Adding to that several injured players dropped out of the squad. Neven Subotic tore a cruciate ligament and will be out until summer. Hummels, Schmelzer, and Bender were missing many matches. And of course there is Ilkay Gündogan, the midfield wizard who is out with an injured back since August. Gündogan planned to be back in the starting line up against Augsburg, but a severe bronchitis made him miss most of the winter training camp and so he will need a couple of matches to get back onto the pitch. Hummels will probably not make Augsburg but might be back against Braunschweig the following week. But apart from Gündogan, Hummels and Subotic Jürgen Klopp has his full squad at hand.
There is no doubt that Roman Weidenfeller will start in goal. But there are some doubts who will make up our flat four. Lukasz Piszczek is our number one right back but as he was out for six months due to a hip operation, he might take place on the bench - especially as Kevin Großkreutz really shined on that position. Schmelzer will start as left back. Sokratis is our last top class central defender. For the second central defender position there are two options. Young talent Marvin Sarr is the more risky option while holding midfielder Sven Bender is the other option. It is likely that Jürgen Klopp will opt for Bender. In holding midfield Sahin will start. The second spot will either be taken bei Bender or Sebastian Kehl. Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan and Reus will be our attacking midfield backing up sole striker Robert Lewandowski.Mentioning Robert Lewandowski we have to discuss this story a little bit. The world class striker joined us 2010 coming from his home country Poland. Being striker number two behind Lucas Barrios in our first championship season, he outclassed Barrios in the second championship season and became our number one on that position. But already at the end of that season, that saw us trashing Bayern Munich 5-2 in the DFB cup final, there were rumours that the Bavarian giants had put an eye on him. At the end of last season Lewandowski and his advisers started to play a rude game. As the running contract ends in 2014, they refused to sign a new contract. Of course that was their right. But the ugly part was, that they somehow tried to put pressure on Borussia Dortmund to let him go last summer already. While Lewandowski didn‘t take much part in that yellow press war, his advisers attacked with full force. Borussia Dortmund didn‘t draw back, especially as they already lost young talent Mario Götze to Bayern Munich. But as expected with some days into year 2014 Bayern Munich announced that Lewandowski will join them this coming summer on a free Bosman transfer.
But let‘s get back to sports. Borussia Dortmund played four test matches during winter break and won all of them. Of course that is no guarantee that we will be ready for Augsburg, but at least the last match, a 6-1 win against third tier MSV Duisburg, looked pretty neat. We will see how it will work on Saturday.
FC Augsburg is still pretty new to the first Bundesliga. The Bavarian-Swabian club moved to a new stadium a couple of seasons ago and in 2010 even promoted to Bundesliga. Many saw them as a short term Bundesliga contender and predicted them going down immediately. But the club made an astonishing debut and were able to stay in Bundesliga for the following seasons. Coach Weinzierl who took over in 2012 plays an intense style of game tactics. With that type of game they were able to be on level even with bigger clubs. While dropping out of the DFB cup against Bayern Munich in the last round, they were able to give the best team of the world a real fight. Bayern Munich got away with a narrow win. So Borussia Dortmund will be warned not to underestimate Augsburg. Even having the 4-0 in Augsburg at the start of the season in mind, this won‘t be an easy walk.
Marwin Hitz will start in goal. Augsburg‘s flat four will be made up beo Verhaegh, Callsen-Bracker, Klavan and Ostrzolek. Baier is Augsburg‘s only holding midfielder, while Hahn, Vogt, Halil Altintop and Werner will play behind sole striker Bobadilla, a former Borussia Mönchengladbach player.
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Großkreutz (Piszczek), Sokratis, Bender (Sarr), Schmelzer - Kehl (Bender), Sahin - Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan, Reus - Lewandowski
Coach: Jürgen Klopp
FC Augsburg: Hitz - Verhaegh, Callsen-Bracker, Klavan, Ostrzolek - Baier - Hahn, Vogt, Altintop, Werner, Bobadilla
Kick off: 3.30pm, 01/25/2014