Borussia Dortmund welcome Hertha BSC in their first game at the Westfalenstadion in the new Bundesliga season. Both clubs come into this game with wins in their opening fixtures of the season, as Hertha emerged 2-0 winners against newly promoted VfB Stuttgart at home whereas BVB comfortably dispatched VFL Wolfsburg 3-0 at the Volkswagen Arena in their first league match under new manager Peter Bosz.
Dortmund come into this game after a busy week after the Champions League draw saw them drawn in a tough group consisting of defending European & Spanish champions Real Madrid, Premier League runner-up Tottenham Hotspur and Cypriot champions APOEL FC. This week also finally sees the end of the draining and tumultuous Ousmane Dembele transfer saga as his move to FC Barcelona has finally materialized, making him the second most expensive transfer in the history of the beautiful game.
Hertha, who finished 6th last season also saw their journey in Europe commence in the Europa League after they were drawn against Athletic Club Bilbao of Spain, FC Zorya Luhansk of Ukraine and Ostersunds FK of Sweden. Fans of the Die Alte Dame will be relatively optimistic about their chances to progress to the next round of the Europa League after they were knocked out in the third qualifying round last season.
Last time the two clubs faced each other in the league back in March, Hertha beat a sluggish Dortmund side 2-1 at the Olympiastadion thanks to a stunning free kick by left-back Marvin Plattenhardt. Dortmund have not beaten Hertha in 90 minutes in the last 3 times the clubs have faced each other in the league and cup and also could not beat Hertha in either game in the league last season.
In terms of personnel, Dortmund still have a long list of injuries but there was good news as Julian Weigl has returned to training. Marcel Schmelzer has also been in training but has been ruled out of the game against Berlin. Erik Durm is also unfit, thinning the already depleted left back slot for Dortmund. On the other hand, Berlin will be without record signing, striker Davie Selke and young left back Maximilian Mittelstadt.
The long injury list will force Peter Bosz to play virtually the same line-up and he would be happy to comply with that after the impressive result last weekend also stating the Mario Gotze, who made his first start in 8 months last time out, will not play the full 90 minutes in the game against Berlin. Hertha would also choose to stick to their guns as debutant Mathew Leckie scored a brace in the last fixture but would wisely choose to play more defensively than against Stuttgart.
Borussia Dortmund are clear favourites for the tie even though they have struggled to beat Berlin in their last few meetings, their change in tactics will force Hertha’s hand and there seems a slim chance for Hertha to curb the onslaught of the potent Dortmund attack as well as the avalanching support of the Sudtribune in the daunting Westfalenstadion, especially after losing star defender John Anthony Brooks to Wolfsburg earlier in the summer.