Magdeburg vs Borussia Dortmund – Tuesday, October 24, 19:45 BST/20:45CEST – MDCC-Arena, Magdeburg.
Although it does not feel that way, Borussia Dortmund are still first in the Bundesliga. But after a disappointing result in the UEFA Champions League last Tuesday as well as a 2-2 draw, after a 2-0 lead, on Saturday against Eintracht Frankfurt, there is a sense of crisis in and around the SIGNAL IDUNA PARK. The results against APOEL and Eintracht Frankfurt have some question whether Peter Bosz needs to work on an alternative system to get Borussia Dortmund’s season back on track.
It is true that the five-point advantage over Bayern has evaporated over the last week and that Dortmund are only first thanks to a bigger goal difference, but at the same time criticism against Bosz may come a bit too early. In fact, the Dutch head coach told the media that disappointing results would be part of the process as he tries to move away from the possession-based football played under Thomas Tuchel towards the Gegenpressing style of football practised under Thomas Tuchel’s predecessor Jürgen Klopp.
The Champions League aside Dortmund can still look back to a successful start to the Bundesliga. Furthermore, the two teams behind them, Bayern and Leipzig, will be playing each other in quick succession, first in the cup and then in the league, which means that one major rival will be eliminated from the DFB Pokal and that the Yellow and Blacks have an opportunity to open the gap up again in the league. Key to bringing back success will be a more stable defence, but even more importantly more efficiency in front of the opposition’s goal.
In defence, key injuries meant that Bosz had to experiment and with Julian Weigl and Neven Subotić, who had his first start this season, Bosz fielded a highly experimental backline. Sports director Michael Zorc, therefore, defended his head coach after the match pointing out the fact that the coach cannot be blamed for inefficiency and having to improvise with his backline. Bosz, therefore, appears to be once again at the beginning of this project, but the Liga 3 side Magdeburg could represent the perfect opportunity to install some confidence in his side. Zorc in the meantime told the press: “The only objective is a victory in Magdeburg.”
For Magdeburg, the draw against Borussia Dortmund is a victory in the lottery. The MDCC-Arena is expected to be sold out on Tuesday for the big match against Borussia Dortmund. Located in the former GDR 1.FC Magdeburg is one of the most traditional clubs of the now defunct German Democratic Republic. Now in Liga 3 Magdeburg had its most successful period in the 1960s and 1970s winning three DDR-Oberliga titles, seven FDGB-Pokal titles and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1973/74.
Like many clubs from the former GDR Magdeburg struggled with the transition from communism to capitalism and the club has never been in the third division in the league pyramid of unified Germany. The club even spent several years in the fourth division and only returned to Liga 3 in 2015 where the club narrowly missed out on promotion to Bundesliga 2 last season. Currently, in second place in Liga 3 Magdeburg are among the favourites for promotion this season and will be a formidable opponent to Borussia Dortmund Tuesday night. But given the gap in quality between the top of the Bundesliga and Liga 3 Dortmund will be clear favourites to advance to the next round.
Magdeburg vs Borussia Dortmund – Player to look out for:
Philip Türpitz #8 – 1.FC Magdeburg
Philip Türpitz is Magdeburg’s top scorer this season. The 26-year-old, who was signed from Chemnitzer FC this summer already managed six goals and five assists in 13 Liga 3 matches. A right midfielder Türpitz has benefited from head coach Jens Härtel’s 4-3-3 formation, which sees him play as an inside forward allowing him to play further up the field. As a result, Türpitz has already scored twice as many goals in the first 13 games with Magdeburg as he did in 32 games with Chemnitz last season.
— 1. FC Magdeburg (@1_FCM) October 21, 2017
Roman Bürki #38 – Borussia Dortmund
All eyes will be on goalkeeper Roman Bürki in the second round of the DFB Pokal—the Swiss keeper made two mistakes against APOEL in the Champions League last Tuesday with one of them leading to a goal. Bürki overall has had a poor Champions League season as he was less than perfect against Real Madrid and Tottenham as well. He then also caused a penalty against Eintracht Frankfurt, which brought the Eagles back into the game. As a result, Dortmund have been rumoured to look at alternative goalkeeping options with Kevin Trapp and Timo Horn being mentioned as possible replacements for Bürki. For now, sporting director Michael Zorc has strengthened Bürki’s position stating that Dortmund are going to extend his contract.
Magdeburg vs Borussia Dortmund – Match Stats
- Borussia Dortmund are the defending DFB Pokal champions.
- Borussia Dortmund have reached four DFB Pokal finals in a row.
- This is only the second meeting between the two clubs.
- Magdeburg were defeated 4-1 by Borussia Dortmund the first round of the 2007/08 DFB Pokal.
Prediction: Magdeburg vs Borussia Dortmund – 0-2
Magdeburg vs Borussia Dortmund – Possible Lineups
Brunst – Butzen, Handke, St. Schäfer, Hammann – Rother, Weil, Erdmann – Türpitz, Beck, Niemeyer
Coach: Jens Härtel
Bürki – Toljan, Sokratis, Bartra, Schmelzer – Castro, Sahin, Kagawa – Yarmolenko, Aubameyang, Philipp
Coach: Peter Bosz
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and social media editor at Bundesliga.com. 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 will be available in print soon. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.