Borussia Dortmund receive Eintracht Frankfurt at the Westfalenstadion on Saturday. It’s 9th vs. 10th, both sit on 36 points and have ambitions to reach the Euro League places, which start two points further up the table, where Werder Bremen currently are.
BUT THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE. Looking at the table – which is all we do with 5 games left, Dortmund simply have to win the next game to still be in the chase. Schalke, Augsburg, Bremen and Hoffenheim are the teams ahead of Dortmund and BVB have to rely on Mainz, Hamburg, Paderborn and Hannover to take points off their opponents – which they can’t. So there isn’t any other option than winning. Two points until 7th place, six till catch Schalke. In other words, BVB cannot afford to drop any points now or this season will end in utter mediocrity.
At least, Frankfurt look beatable. They are yet to win a match on the road in 2015 and are without Bundesliga’s current top scorer Alexander Meier. They have also two defenders suspended with Bamba Anderson and Bastian Oczipka, which should unsettle their back line, although the risk of a Dortmund player getting injured will increase with the return of Carlos Zambrano.
We hope that Thomas Schaaf’s team will meet its cliche and is incapable of defending in an organized and disciplined fashion like Köln or Hamburg, which should make Dortmund’s job much easier – and the good news won’t stop there. Lukasz Piszczek and Marco Reus are back in team training and Sebastian Kehl is on a quick route to recovery. Reus should return to the pitch on Saturday, if nothing goes wrong. Hopefully the midfielder will once again make the difference in the coming weeks, because now is the time it counts. Actually, it counts the whole season, but now BVB are truly desperate to score the maximum amount of points – or maybe not, since they are insured for the Champions League revenue loss. It’s hard to say whether it’s genius from Watzke or not, given that Dortmund have to pay a premium of 30% of their CL revenue each year, which would make a loss after four years either way.
However, from the a fan perspective, no money in the world can replace excitement in the league. Do we really care about the millions clubs are transferring from A to B? No, we want to be entertained – otherwise there wouldn’t be any money to be transferred in the first place. Losing to Eintracht Frankfurt would mean the entertainment level of Dortmund’s season finale would drop off significantly.
But in all honesty, I have a good feeling about this match and I think BVB are up for it. It’ll be another highlight in Jürgen Klopp’s semi-unofficial farewell tour and the players will gain momentum, which they will lose on Tuesday in the cup against FC Bayern. Oh, now I’ve ruined it.