Manuel Veth –
Dortmund vs Borussia Mönchengladbach – Wednesday, October 30, 19:45GMT/20:45CET – SIGNAL IDUNA Park, Dortmund, Germany
Borussia Dortmund are expecting a full house when they are hosting Borussia Mönchengladbach in the second round of the DFB Pokal on Wednesday night. The two teams met just ten days ago in a game in which Borussia Dortmund won 1-0 away at Borussia Park thanks to a goal by Marco Reus.
“We can’t fix a home defeat in the Pokal,” sporting director Michael Zorc said this week. For Dortmund, this is a crucial match in a period in which head coach Lucien Favre has been under fire. Dortmund took some of the pressure off the head coach when they beat Gladbach ten days ago. But what followed was a 2-0 defeat to Inter Milan in the Champions League and a 0-0 draw in the Revierderby against a Schalke side that would have deserved the victory that evening.
For Dortmund, Schalke’s pressing, in particular, was a major problem. But like David Wagner at Schalke, Marco Rose at Gladbach also likes to play the high pressing. “We struggled with the pressing,” Favre admitted. “We have to pass faster, to avoid the press. Play one contact football. That is an area that we have to improve.”
One-touch football and more speed into the final third is supposed to help Dortmund’s attacking problems. But without Paco Alcacer, who will miss the game on Wednesday Dortmund remain without a true number 9. Frustrating given that with Alexander Isak, Dortmund willingly gave up a serious alternative for the Spanish striker.
Alcacer, however, will not be the only player missing. Roman Bürki will have to sit out the game and Mario Götze suffered a small fracture in his hand and is doubtful.
Like Dortmund, Gladbach are also heading into the game with key pieces missing. Gladbach head coach Marco Rose will be without 11 players when his team kicks off in Dortmund. The latest victims are Breel Embolo, who will be out until after the international break and Tony Jantschke.
As a result, Lars Stindl could be forced into the starting XI even if his fitness will not last the full 90 minutes. “He isn’t ready yet to play 90 minutes,” Rose said this week. “[Stindl] did very well against Frankfurt but even there it wasn’t planned for him to play [55 minutes]. He went above and beyond his limits.”
The 90 minutes in Frankfurt and the intense game midweek against Roma could be a factor for a Gladbach side that is currently undergoing an injury crisis. “We are at our limit,” Rose admitted earlier this week. Dortmund, in the meantime, had an extra 24 hours to recover, which could be a significant factor in a game that could very well go into extra-time.
Dortmund vs Borussia Mönchengladbach – Players to look out for:
Mats Hummels #15 – Borussia Dortmund
Mats Hummels’ leadership will be crucial in this game. The 31-year-old was brought in to provide much-needed leadership. Against Schalke, Hummels was the only Dortmund player in normal form, playing a major part in securing at least one point. In his current form, there is no doubt that Hummels should be recalled to the German national team to fill the gap left by the injured Niklas Süle.
Lászlo Bénes #22 – Borussia Mönchengladbach
Lászlo Bénes has been wonderful since returning to Gladbach following a loan spell at Holstein Kiel. The 22-year-old Slovakian plays an important role in Gladbach’s 4-3-1-2 formation. Situated just behind the three-man attack Bénes almost likes a playmaker and has recorded three assists in eight Bundesliga games this season.
Dortmund vs Borussia Mönchengladbach – Match Stats
- Dortmund coach Favre oversaw 189 competitive matches in charge of Gladbach between February 2011 and September 2011.
- Gladbach have won three DFB Cups, but haven’t reached the final since winning the trophy in 1994/95
- Dortmund and Gladbach have met twice in the DFB Pokal. Both games were in Mönchengladbach and the Foals won 2-1 in the second round of the 2003/04 season and 6-1 in the second round of the 1986/87 season.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Dortmund vs Borussia Mönchengladbach – 2-1 (extra-time)
Dortmund vs Borussia Mönchengladbach – Lineups
Hitz – Piszczek, Weigl, Hummels, Schulz – Delaney, Witsel – Sancho, Reus, Hazard – Brandt
Head Coach: Lucien Favre
Sommer – Lainer, Beyer, Elvedi, Bensebaini – Kramer, Zakaria – Benes – Hermann, Stindl, Thuram
Head Coach: Marco Rose
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others, contributes to Forbes.com and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently splits his time between Victoria, BC, and Munich, Germany. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.