Match Preview: Hamburg vs. Borussia Dortmund

Match Preview

After coming off the back of an impressive home win against Cologne at the weekend, Borussia Dortmund travel to Hamburg tonight looking to build some momentum. The result saw BVB move to the top of the Bundesliga, replacing temporary occupants Hannover 96. Hamburg were Hannover’s victims last Friday, going down 2-0 at the HDI-Arena. However early season victories against Cologne,

Hamburg were Hannover’s victims last Friday, going down 2-0 at the HDI-Arena. However early season victories against Cologne, Augsburg, and Wolfsburg see them sit comfortably in 8th position going into this game but could leapfrog as high as 4th with a win tonight at the Imtech Arena.

The home side go into the game with questions being raised over the ability of goalkeeper Christian Mathenia, after his perceived poor performance in Hannover on Friday night. Marcus Gisdol has rebuffed notions that Mathenia should be dropped though, saying, “It’s silly to criticise our keeper after one mistake. We have huge belief in him.” Gisdol was happy to report that Bobby Wood would be ready for tonight’s clash but that it would come too soon for Albin Ekdal, who remains sidelined. Gotoku Sakai is also in contention to start after coming off the bench against Hannover. Aaron Hunt has returned to training but won’t make the game as he is still rehabbing his injury. Rick van Drongelen continues to be sidelined following an abdominal bone edema and his prognosis is as yet unknown. Sejad Salihovic impressed on his Hamburg debut and is likely to feature again here.

BVB go into this game as the only team in the division yet to concede this season and Peter Bosz is hoping to extend his sides good form of late. “We have to and want to win all our games, whether home or away. That’s the attitude that we take into every match,” said Peter Bosz, adding: “We want to win. That applies to Wednesday too.” Bosz will be pleased to have Pierre Emerick Aubameyang his side. The Gabonese forward has eight goals and four assists against Hamburg, making The Red Shorts his favorite team to play against.

Dortmund’s injury crisis has lessened slightly and Peter Bosz might be able to name a full substitutes bench tonight, something he was unable to do on Sunday against Cologne. Marc Bartra, Andre Schurrle, and Mario Gotze all trained on Monday “to a limited extent” according to the manager. Unfortunately, Bartra and Schurrle are unlikely to feature against Hamburg. but Gotze is in contention providing he came through yesterday’s training unscathed. One man who definitely won’t be risked is new full back Jeremy Toljan. He sat out the Cologne game due to muscular problems picked up in training on Saturday and will miss out again tonight. However, the boss stated that he likely to be out for days rather than weeks, which will please everyone taking into account our already hectic schedule.

With Hamburg having to recover from a demoralizing defeat on Friday night, their reaction in tonight’s game should be interesting. They will want to make up for a desolate display last time out and have beaten BVB five times in the past five years, so three points aren’t unlikely. Nonetheless, this is a game Bosz’s boys should be winning. They sit pretty at the top of the Bundesliga and Roman Burki has not had to pick the ball out of his net as of yet domestically this season. It is sure to be an intriguing game when these two meet tonight at the Imtech-Arena.