The big game in Germany this weekend takes place on Sunday afternoon at the iconic Signal Iduna Park Stadium in Dortmund where table topping Borussia host Bayer Leverkusen.
TUCHEL’S TEAM LOOKING FOR SIX IN A ROW
After a fantastic start to the new campaign, Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel goes in search of his sixth consecutive win in all competitions on Sunday, with his team sitting top of the current Bundesliga standings. All this is a far cry from the end of last season when the departure of legendary coachJürgen Klopp looked as though it could spell the end of the club’s most successful period. His assistant Thomas Tuchel was promoted into the top job and against most football bet predictions, the changeover has been seamless with Dortmund playing with a swagger and crushing all before them at the current time. Thursday’s 2-1 home win over Krasnodar in the Europa League was treated almost like a practice match by Tuchelahead of Sunday’s big clash against Leverkusen.
LEVERKUSEN MAKE A CHAMPION START IN EUROPE
With a season that started around the middle of August, Bayer Leverkusen have fully justified their place in the group stages of the Champions League with an emphatic 4-1 drubbing of BATE Borisov on Wednesday night. It is clear at the moment where coach Roger Schmidt has his priorities as excellent results in Europe, have been intertwined with back to back defeats in the Bundesliga. Having signed Mexican striker Javier Hernández from Manchester United at the conclusion of the transfer window, the 48-year-old tactician is only too aware that his side’s league form must improve quickly, but things don’t come much tougher than a trip to high flying Dortmund.
Tuchel looks likely to be without German midfielder Marco Reus who is still recovering from a broken toe, Jonas Hofmann or former Manchester United youngster Adnan Januzaj could deputise if necessary. The coach will also have to make a decision on his centre-back pairing with Greek defender Sokratis competing with Neven Subotic for a place alongside Mats Hummels.
There are injury worries too for Roger Schmidt with defensive midfielder Lars Bender also doubtful for the trip to Dortmund. Chilean midfielder Charles Aránguiz, young Croatian defender Tin Jedvaj and Turkish defender Ömer Toprak are all unavailable through injury. Hernández (currently priced on the best online betting sites at *3.75 as an anytime goalscorer on Sunday), should get the vote up front in Schmidt’s unusual (4-2-2-2) set up.
PROBABLE STARTING XI’S
Borussia Dortmund (4-1-4-1) Bürki; Schmelzer, Hummels, Sokratis, Ginter; Weigl; Mkhitaryan, Kagawa, Gündogan, Hofmann; Aubameyang
Bayer Leverkusen (4-2-2-2) Leno; Wendell, Tah, Papadopoulos, Hilbert; Kramer, Kampl; Calhanoglu, Bellarabi; Kießling, Hernández
HEAD TO HEAD
In their six previous meetings Dortmundhas two wins, Leverkusen also has two and there has been two draws. Leverkusen won last season’s corresponding fixture 2-0 but Dortmund have won their last six home Bundesliga matches. There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Dortmund’s last six league games. Sunday’s hosts have also been leading at both half and full-time in their last five games at Iduna Park – The best betting websites have them priced at *2.60 to do this again on Sunday.
Borussia Dortmund 1.72 Draw 4.00 Bayer Leverkusen 4.50
*odds courtesy of Bet365
By Steve Mitchell (@barafundler)