Borussia Dortmund begin their journey to snatch the coveted Bundesliga throne from Bayern Munich with a tricky away game at last season’s biggest underachievers, VFL Wolfsburg. BVB will need to overcome a barrage of injuries and a tumultuous offseason to get their season off to a winning start.
What was expected to be a straightforward summer with quality additions to the squad in the form of Omer Toprak, Mahmoud Dahoud, Dan-Axel Zagadou and Maximilian Philipp, saw a change in the backroom as former Ajax manager Peter Bosz replaced Thomas Tuchel at the helm due to differences with the board and the unexpected chaos that has unravelled regarding the future of Ousmane Dembele in the last 2 weeks.
The last 2 competitive fixtures saw Dortmund play quite well before losing on Penalties to Bayern after it finished 2-2 in regulation time in the traditional curtain-raiser of the German Football season, the DFL Supercup followed by a comprehensive 4-0 victory against 6th tier side 1. FC Rielasingen-Arlen in the DFB Pokal first round.
Wolfsburg, who finished in the relegation playoff spot last season, survived the drop after an aggregate win over Eintracht Braunschweig. Their torrid campaign reflected in the change of managers as there were 3 changes over the season as Dieter Hecking was sacked followed by the interim appointment of Valerien Ismael before current manager Andries Jonker was appointed to save the Volkswagen backed the club to get out of the rut.
Wolfsburg have also had a busy summer as they welcome new signings like John Anthony Brooks, Ignacio Camacho, and Paul Verhaegh to name a few. Unfortunately for the Wolves, Brooks is out for 3 months with a thigh injury and that was the last thing they needed before the season began.
BVB’s lineup will be pretty easy to guess due to the long list of absentees due to injuries, giving Peter Bosz very limited options to choose from in the first place. Sokratis and Bartra should be the centre back pairing with Toprak eased into the team. The left back slot is a question mark as it could very well be Dan-Axel Zagadou or Felix Passlack as captain Marcel Schmelzer will not be taking part at all in the game and the fitness of Erik Durm as well as his future, is up in the air. The rest of the team picks itself with the only question being of Dahoud or Gotze in the central midfield role alongside Gonzalo Castro. The attacking trio should consist of Philipp, Aubameyang, and Pulisic as they are the only available attackers as Andre Schurrle tore his hamstring earlier this week, weakening the already thin line of attackers at Bosz’s disposal.
Peter Bosz is known for experimenting with his lineups and tactics so there could be an unexpected lineup somewhere in the near future but the current list of injuries prevents him from trying something very radical and bold, something he wasn’t afraid to do at Ajax. BVB fans, as usual, have high expectations, and this weekend won’t have any lower expectations than usual.