This weekend see’s the two form teams of the Bundesliga go head to head. Borussia Dortmund travel to the SGL Arena in Augsburg having had their European woes deepened on Tuesday night, being well-beaten 3-1 at home by Real Madrid. Augsburg have not been beaten since their opening day defeat away to Hamburg but disappointingly drew in Stuttgart last week, considering their impressive early season form. Something would have to give in this one.
Augsburg manager, Michael Baum, will obviously be pleased with his sides start to the season. Not only have they lost one game all season but they haven’t lost at the SGL Arena since April. Augsburg are 5th in the Bundesliga and are high on confidence. Nonetheless, Baum was full of praise for their opponents in his pre-match press conference. “They’re playing really well at the moment,” he said, “Dortmund have a clear plan, create lots of chances. They’re near perfect going forward. We want to prepare properly and put in a good performance. When you play a top team, everyone might give an extra percent or two, but at the end of the day, we need to ignore the team’s position in the table.” Midfielder Jan Moravek also likes his team’s chances, saying, “The last game against Dortmund showed that we are more than capable of keeping up with them – we want to make this count.”
Baum has a full complement to choose from for this game with the exception of Tim Rieder, who is still recovering from injury in training. Daniel Baier’s suspension came to an end following the draw with Stuttgart last week so he is able to return to action. Ja-Cheol Koo picked up a concussion in the game and was a doubt for this fixture. However, the effects of that concussion has worn off and he is contention to play some part against BVB.
Peter Bosz was forced to watch his team’s second defeat of the season on Tuesday night at Signal Iduna Park. They may not be able to get off the mark in the Champions League but Dortmund currently sit pretty at the top of the Bundesliga with 16 points from a possible 18, having scored 19 goals and conceded only 1. With this being our fifth game in 2 weeks, Bosz has had to rotate his squad but insists there are no problems. He said, “Our batteries are recharged. We’ve been able to rotate quite a bit.” Bosz also reiterated the importance of being prepared for this game but was at pains to iterate that his side is over the defeat to Real Madrid. “We’ve not lost our confidence following the defeat against Madrid, where we deservedly lost against a brilliant team. We need to be prepared to play against an opponent who likes to operate with long balls – or with short passes.”
Bosz is expected to rotate again here, with Nuri Sahin, Mario Gotze, Gonzalo Castro and Max Phillipp expected to miss out. Thought to be coming in their place are Julian Weigl, Shinji Kagawa, Mahmoud Dahoud and Christian Pulisic. The absence of Pierre Emerick Aubameyang from the warm down on Tuesday worried many BVB fans but Peter Bosz has told the press he will be fine to start this game.
Dortmund are undoubtedly favourites in this game with the odds stacked in their favour. They have not been beaten as of yet this season, have not lost away in the Bundesliga since 8th April, and are unbeaten in Ausgburg since the Bavarian club’s promotion 6 years ago. But with Augsburg in this form, and claiming emphatic victories in the process, it’s fair to say that this is a match that many will be looking forward to.