Borussia Dortmund vs RB Leipzig – Saturday 17:30BT/18:30CET – SIGNAL IDUNA PARK, Dortmund.
Right after Peter Bosz signed for Borussia Dortmund, the Dutch coach warned BVB fans that his style of plays would need some adaptation and that the team could lose some games by a high margin. Since then Dortmund have taken the Bundesliga by storm under Bosz, but in the Champions League die Schwarz-Gelben were twice found out by top teams—both Tottenham and Real Madrid exploited the space in Dortmund’s defence.
Now on Saturday night, Dortmund will have their first real test in the Bundesliga against RB Leipzig. Peter Bosz’s players now have to show that they have understood the lessons taught to them by Tottenham and Real. The main problem for Dortmund, however, will be the fact that der BVB will have to go into the match without a real left-back. Marcel Schmelzer, Raphaël Guerreiro and Lukasz Piszczek will all miss this game with injuries, which means that Bosz will have to field an experimental backline for this match.
All of that will be not good news going into a match against one of the most advantageous attacking line-ups in Germany. But whereas Dortmund have defensive worries RB Leipzig might be going into this game without star striker Timo Werner, who has been struggling with vertigo stemming from a back problem. Werner, of course, would be the ideal candidate to exploit Dortmund’s rickety defence. Not unlike Harry Kane at Tottenham Werner can hit teams on the counter using his speed and agility to be dangerous anywhere on the field—fortunately for Dortmund though it is unlikely that they have to worry about him.
With Werner likely coming off the bench Leipzig will still be going on the attack, which would mean that this should be a wide-open affair in which both teams are going to press high and trying to exploit each other’s defensive weaknesses. As a result, this could be a high scoring game that even has the potential of one team blowing the other side out of the water. As it stands this game could go either way, but on paper, Dortmund should be able to utilise their home advantage.
Borussia Dortmund vs RB Leipzig – Player to look out for:
Julian Weigl #33 – Borussia Dortmund
With Nuri Sahin doubtful due to back problems sustained from his national team last week Julian Weigl could once again anchor the midfield for Borussia Dortmund. The 22-year-old missed the beginning of the season with a broken ankle and only returned to match duty on matchday 4 of the Bundesliga. After playing the full 90 minutes against Borussia Mönchengladbach and Augsburg Weigl will likely also get the nod against RB Leipzig. His ability to hold the ball and control the midfield could be crucial against a Leipzig side that will attempt to hurt Dortmund on the Gegenpressing.
Jean-Kévin Augustin #11 – RB Leipzig
With Timo Werner likely coming off the bench in this game Jean-Kévin Augustin will be the key player for Leipzig. Although incredibly talented the French forward has not yet shown the kind of goalscoring exploits that have made Timo Werner’s stock rise over the last season. Like Werner, Augustin is quick and explosive, and his athleticism will be critical in exploiting the space left by Dortmund’s high pressing game.
Borussia Dortmund vs RB Leipzig – Match Stats
- Hertha’s two wins on matchday 1 and 2 was the only time the club started with two consecutive victories in a Bundesliga season.
- Borussia Dortmund’s Maximilian Philipp scored his first ever Bundesliga goal against Hertha Berlin when he scored the second goal in Freiburg’s 2:0 victory over Hertha in the 2014-15 season.
- Dortmund’s home record against Hertha is W18 D8 L4
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Borussia Dortmund vs RB Leipzig – 3-2
Borussia Dortmund vs RB Leipzig – Possible Lineups
Bürki – Zagadou, Toprak, Bartra, Toljan – Castro, Weigl, Götze – Yarmolenko, Aubameyang, Philipp
Head Coach: Peter Bosz
Gulasci – Klostermann, Orban, Upamecano, Halstenberg – Keïta, Demme – Sabitzer, Forsberg – Poulsen, Augustin
Head Coach: Ralph Hasenhüttl
Manuel Veth is a freelance journalist and social media junior editor at Bundesliga.com. He is also a holder of 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 will be available in print soon. 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.