Injuries, comebacks and a good omen in sight?
Okay, let us get that straight. You know that these days, one of the biggest concerns before each and every match of Borussia Dortmund is the personal situation. New injuries, some comebacks, Jürgen Klopp was not really able to get continuity into his starting eleven over the first matches of this season. This is one of the reasons why one could argue that the start into the Bundesliga was not successful with two victories and two defeats out of the first four matches. But before getting to the analysis and preparation for the next encounter on Wednesday against VfB Stuttgart, let us get the personal worries behind us by talking about the personal situation first.
So, who will we be missing? Henrikh Mkhitaryan is out for the next four weeks after he sustained an injury during injury time (ha! What a pun!) away at Mainz on Saturday. Jakub Blaszczykowski has not recovered from his torn muscle fibre either and Oliver Kirch is still missing for a few weeks just like Marco Reus and Nuri Sahin. Sebastian Kehl and even Ilkay Gündogan (!!!) are close to returning, but will not be an option for Stuttgart already. So those are still a lot of players who Jürgen Klopp needs to take out of his considerations for the fifth match day. However, there are also a good news. Mats Hummels will probably be back in the squad even though it is unlikely that he will play for 90 minutes so that you could expect him sitting on the bench at first or at least get exchanged over time. Neven Subotic will be back as well, giving Klopp all center backs to chose from which is an option he did not have over this season yet. Dong-Won Ji should be ready to get back into the squad as well, Maruoka and Gyau will be filling the empty spaces of the squad stepping in from the reserve team.
While the defensive line looks promising again as there are no worries anymore with Großkreutz, Durm, Schmelzer and Piszczek also ready for competition, the situation is different in the midfield. The players from the first team Klopp can chose from are the following: Sven Bender, Milos Jojic, Kevin Großkreutz (thank god he is an awesome allrounder), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Shinji Kagawa and Dong-Won Ji. At least you can say that those are enough players to build some kind of midfield and in front, we have Immobile and Ramos to choose from. So yes, we will once again bring eleven good and talented players on the pitch against Stuttgart who will miss Hlousek, Abdeallaoue and former Borussian Daniel Ginczek.
However, Stuttgart comes to Dortmund carrying the red lantern and still without a victory in this Bundesliga season. What can we expect? That is the hard question to answer these days. After the defeat in Mainz on Saturday I was still happy with the recent overall results. Six points in the Bundesliga, a win against Arsenal FC in Champions League and the second round in the national cup still sounds absolutely okay, especially considering the personal worries we have to face. However, the match in Mainz was not the kind of game you need to lose since we had several opportunities to score of which Immobile missed the most promising one with his penalty kick.
Even the performance itself was okay to me so I am pretty sure that we will see a passionate team against Stuttgart who managed to get a draw four of the last five times they were our guests in the beautiful temple that is the Westfalenstadion. In general, Stuttgart presented several good performances in Dortmund, some guys of you will of course remember the 4:4 a couple of years ago, but last year, they were trashed and sent home with a 6:1 defeat. Let’s hope this will be the case on Wednesday as well since Jürgen Klopp has a special game for himself, since he will be lonely record holder for the most matches as a coach of BVB with getting his 209th performance at the sideline of Borussia, which is even more than legendary Ottmar Hitzfeld.
So am I looking forward to tomorrow’s match? Of course! Do I think that we will see a great performance by the players in black and yellow? Absolutely! Will we win this match? I hope so! There were a lot of times BVB had to cope with problems in history, let them be financial or like now, concerning injuries. Borussia have always stepped up and even though they did not always shine, they sure did very often. I believe in the squad and the crew and so should each and every one of you. And of course, the important derby is already in sight, but let’s not forget that the winner of the match tomorrow will also be awarded three points which could lead to Borussia going into the derby with 09 points. And if that’s not a good omen, what is a good omen then? Heja BVB!
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller – Piszczek, Sokratis, Subotic, Schmelzer – Bender, Jojic – Aubameyang, Kagawa, Großkreutz – Ramos (Immobile).
Substitute's Bench: Langerak – Durm, Hummels, Ginter, Gyau, Maruoka, Ji, Immobile.
Missing: Mkhitaryan, Kehl, Blaszczykowski, Gündogan, Kirch, Reus, Sahin. (!)
VfB Stuttgart: Ulreich - Klein, Schwaab, Rüdiger, Sakai - Oriol Romeu, Gentner - Harnik, Didavi, Leitner - Ibisevic.
Substitute's Bench: Kirschbaum - Haggui, Niedermeier, Rausch, Gruezo, Kostic, Harnik, Werner
Missing: Maxim, Hlousek, Abdellaoue, Ginczek.
Referee: Gräfe (Berlin)
Attendance: 1,500 tickets are still available for the supporters of VfB Stuttgart.