Manuel Veth –
Slavia Prague vs Dortmund – Wednesday, October 2, 17:55BST/18:55CEST – Sinobo Stadium, Prague, Czech Republic
Slavia Prague surprised Inter Milan on matchday 1. The Czech champions were somewhat unfortunate in their 1-1 draw against Inter Milan on matchday 1. It took Inter until extra time to score the equalizer.
Domestically, Slavia have also been in top-form, which 29 points out of the first 11 games attest. The 19 time national champions are in brilliant form and although they were tipped to finish bottom of the group, Slavia do not look like cannon fodder.
“Teams that show respect will receive a beating,” head coach Jindrich Trpisovsky said to kicker this week. Dortmund’s recent results will also not instill fear into Slavia.
On Saturday against Werder Bremen, Borussia Dortmund dropped points for a second game in a row from a leading position. 2-1 up at halftime the Black and Yellows allowed an easy goal in the second half and have dropped outside the Bundesliga top four.
That latest result has led to some soul searching among Dortmund staff and players. Axel Witsel contempleted after the game that Dortmund might have a quality problem. Reus, in the meantime, was adamant that Dortmund do not lack mentality, a comment that has led to a wide reaching mentality debate in German football.
Meanwhile, head coach Lucien Favre looked crestfallen after the game. The head coach was short of words, leading to suggestions by the media that Favre might lack the charisma to lead the club to titles. Critics rightfully point out that Favre lacks the emotional fire of predecessors Thomas Tuchel and Jürgen Klopp, an ability that is very important at a club like Dortmund.
Hence, the pressure is building in Dortmund, which, in turn, means that Favre needs positive results to gain momentum. On paper the game in Prague would be a perfect opportunity to do just that—recent results against the likes of Union Berlin, Frankfurt and Werder highlight that Slavia could be an unwelcome host for Dortmund.
Slavia Prague vs Dortmund – Players to look out for:
Peter Olayinka #9 – Slavia Prague
Peter Olayinka could have been the hero against Inter Milan. The 23-year-old Nigerian striker scored the go-ahead goal for Slavia in Italy. Signed from Gent in 2018 Olayinka scored three goals and two assists in eight league games this season. Overall, the Nigerian has been involved in 21% of Slavia’s goals this season and will be a significant danger for a Dortmund side that lacks confidence at the moment.
Marco Reus #11 – Borussia Dortmund
Two weeks ago Marco Reus reacted vehemently to questions about Dortmund’s mentality. But after the game against Werder reluctantly admitted that the club might indeed have a small mentality issue. Dortmund’s biggest problem? The killer instinct to finish games off. Although Reus scored against Werder, the captain is part of the problem, as the match against Barcelona highlighted. Against Slavia, Reus will be asked to lead his club to three points no matter what it takes.
Slavia Prague vs Dortmund – Match Stats
- This is the teams’ first meeting and both sides’ first contest against a club from their opponents’ country in more than ten years.
- This is Slavia’s first match against a German club since a 2-0 loss against Hamburg in Prague in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage.
- That made it three successive defeats to Bundesliga opponents, all without scoring; a 1-0 home win against Schalke in the 1998/99 UEFA Cup first round second leg is their sole success in their last nine games against German clubs (D3 L5).
- The victories at Club Brugge and Monaco are the only two Dortmund have managed in their last 12 European away matches (D4 L6).
- Dortmund’s last two games away to Czech clubs have ended goalless, most recently against Sigma Olomouc in the 2005 UEFA Intertoto Cup third round.
- That made it three wins and two draws in their five visits overall, and extended their unbeaten run against Czech clubs, home and away, to eight matches (W5 D3), since a 3-1 home loss against Dukla Praha in the 1963/64 European Cup Winners’ Cup quarter-final second leg.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Slavia Prague vs Dortmund – 0-3
Slavia Prague vs Dortmund – Lineups
Kolar – Boril, Hovorka, Frydrych, Coufal – Soucek – Olayinka, Zeleny, Stanciu, Masopust – Tecl
Head Coach: Jindrich Trpisovsky
Bürki – Guerreiro, Hummels, Akanji, Hakimi – Delaney, Witsel – Hazard, Reus, Sancho – Paco Alcacer
Head Coach: Lucien Favre
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.