Werder Bremen vs Dortmund – Sunday, April 29, 17:00BST/18:00CEST – Weser-Stadion, Bremen, Germany
Dortmund’s race to catch second-placed Schalke 04 continues. After throwing a 4-0 lead in November and then losing the return match 2-0 in Gelsenkirchen only finishing ahead of their biggest rivals could salvage the season somewhat.
Last week’s 4-0 victory against Leverkusen was a first step towards achieving that goal. At the same time the Yellow Wall, as the massive south stand in the SIGNAL IDUNA PARK is called, did not absolve Dortmund’s players quite yet. The fans booed and whistled their players sending them packing to the dressing room instead of celebrating the victory.
The message is clear. Champions League football will not be enough. The fans want second place. Dortmund will have to achieve that second place without star striker Michy Batshuayi, who will miss the rest of the season with a leg injury. In his stead head coach Peter Stöger has played Maximilian Philipp as a number 9.
It was a move that worked wonders against Leverkusen. Philipp is a flexible attacking midfielder, and he often swapped positions with other players. As a result, Dortmund were less predictable playing the sort of football that made them famous under Thomas Tuchel and Jürgen Klopp.
That result, and performance will now have to be compensated against Werder Bremen. The Werderaner are currently 12thin the standings and with 37 points are almost free of any relegation worries. With just three games left the gap to 16this seven points and Werder could rid themselves of any relegation worries altogether with a victory.
Whether they will get the three points, however, will mostly depend on Dortmund. BVB have been inconsistent for most of the season. A similar performance as against Leverkusen would sink Werder and given what is at stake for the Yellow and Blacks anything but a top performance would be a surprise.
Werder Bremen vs Dortmund – Players to look out for:
Max Kruse #10 – Werder Bremen
With six goals and eight assists, Max Kruse is once again one of Werder’s key players this season. The 30-year-old forward is Werder’s top goal scorer but is not just defined by the goals he scores for the North Germans. A fascinating character Kruse is also a professional poker player and Nutella connoisseur, two trades that have cost him his place in the German national team. But while Bundestrainer Joachim Löw is not the biggest Kruse fan, Werder fans love the player for his genius moments on the field despite the extra Nutella kilos that he is carrying on the pitch.
Jadon Sancho #7 – Borussia Dortmund
Jadon Sancho had his breakout performance against Bayer Leverkusen on matchday 31. The Englishman scored the opener and then was involved in two more Borussia Dortmund goals. Favourably compared to a young Mario Götze Sancho the 18-year-old London native has now featured in nine Bundesliga matches for Dortmund this season – justifying his move away from Manchester City last summer.
Werder Bremen vs Dortmund – Match Stats
- The clubs will meet for the 100thtime on Sunday. The clubs drew each other 16 times, Werder won 41 and Dortmund 42 games.
- Marco Reus loves playing against Werder. The forward has scored ten goals against Werder and only managed more goals against Mainz (11).
- Reus has also managed eight assists against Werder and won 11 games (drawing two and losing one).
- Bremen’s record at home against Dortmund is W31 D7 L11
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Werder Bremen vs Dortmund – 1-3
Werder Bremen vs Dortmund – Lineups
Pavlenka – Gebre Selassie, Veljković, Moisander, Friedl – Gondorf, Delaney, M. Eggestein – Belfodil, Kruse, Junuzović
Head Coach: Florian Kohfeldt
Bürki – Piszczek, Sokratis, Toprak, Akanji – Weigl – Pulisic, Götze, Reus, Sancho – Philipp
Head Coach: Peter Stöger
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others works for the Bundesliga and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth. Or contact him via email: [email protected]