Honey, pack your bags, we’re going on a holiday! Leave the boring village Paderborn behind to explore England’s capital London. Conveniently twelve points are already in the bag. Yet, this isn’t the Eurovision song contest, but the Champions League and Borussia Dortmund play a game of football against FC Arsenal.
Mathematically, the Londoners can still snatch the group win, but BVB only need a point to finish on top of group D. It is nice to not being doomed to win for once and take a breather from constantly frustrating Bundesliga-endeavours. Even Jürgen Klopp can laugh about it: “We cannot change the Bundesliga situation tomorrow – so for me it’s a little bit like a holiday.”, but also knows that stability can be gained from the game and will urge his players to focus.
The interesting question, who those eleven players are. Sunday – Eintracht Frankfurt. That’s the important game and the best possible lineup should be in its best possible shape by then, so it’s time for rotation – and for comebacks.
Nuri Sahin, Jakub Blaszczykowski and Oliver Kirch are waiting for their first run-out this season and it is about time they return to the squad. This game against Arsenal is the perfect occasion to gain some match practise, so what are we waiting for?
Okay, Sven Bender also needs to pick up some game time, so the defensive midfield is getting crowded. Most importantly, the competition Dortmund’s center is getting fierce and the pressure is on.
Speaking of comebacks, Marcel Schmelzer, Ciro Immobile and Adrian Ramos also haven’t played for a while. The left-back is also back from injury, while Immobile and Ramos were left on the bench in Aubameyang’s shadow. It’s remarkable how 30 million euros of transfer fees sit around while Dortmund can’t get out of the relegation zone – well.
Without Marco Reus, at least one of the newly acquired strikers will have to play regularly now, as Aubameyang will fill the void that Marvin Bakalorz created with his reckless tackle. In the Champions League Ramos and Immobile have been firing so far and they might be up against Arsenal’s third choice keeper. Wojciech Szczesny is doubtful and David Ospina is injured, which leaves Damian Martinez – Maybe Klopp will field Langerak out of solidarity.
How the lineup will actually look like remains a mystery, as Jürgen Klopp isn’t known for massive rotation. But surely he will go for a counter attacking setup, that can hit the gunners on the break.
Arsene Wenger’s side must go for the win and that will leave space for BVB to exploit, so it might be fun holiday. The gunners will be firing without Jack Wilshere and Olivier Giroud, who isn’t eligible. Either way, this time Dortmund fans can be happy with a draw. Sealing the group win can be a nice goody ahead of future Bundesliga tasks and eventually a confidence booster (although so far it seems that one competition doesn’t affect the other).
Enjoy the game!