Coming off of a mid-week defeat against mighty Real Madrid, Dortmund look to rebound against surprising FC Augsburg
This is a match that is set up to be a classic “trap game.” FC Augsburg have surprised even the strongest critics within Germany by securing eleven points out of their first six matches, good enough for fifth place in the Bundesliga. Additionally, Die Fuggerstädter also feature forward Alfred Finnbogason who is currently tied for fourth in the league in goals scored.
Dortmund cannot take this side lightly as was proven last season when Augsburg were hardly considered world-beaters. Both times BVB entered the match as overwhelming favorites only to fall behind 0:1 twice. Although The Black and Yellows were able to equalize on each occasion, it is hardly the result they expected.
Despite being humbled by Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday, the Whestphalians’s previous match in the Bundesliga was an absolute masterpiece, a 6:1 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach. Within the league, Dortmund are riding a huge wave of momentum. There is an old saying in sports: “You are only as good as your last performance.” In Dortmund’s case, their last performance was not a positive one. There is another saying as well that goes a little something like this: “The best way to get over a loss is to win.”
Beating Augsburg on Saturday keeps BVB at minimum two points adrift of Hoffenheim in the table and three points ahead of third-placed FC Bayern München, who seem on the verge of becoming a “chaos club” for the first time in a long while, after sacking multiple-time Champions League-winning manager Carlo Ancelotti earlier this week.
The Black and Yellows should be able to make use of a high press in this match as Augsburg are not particularly strong at keeping possession, nor are they a very technically gifted side. Augsburg will rely on counter-attacks set up by a possible BVB error in dangerous areas on the pitch. Dortmund must always be on high alert against opposing counter-attacks. Real Madrid exposed Peter Bosz’s love for playing with a high defensive line on Tuesday, though, it should be noted, FC Augsburg are by no means Zinedine Zidane’s squad. BVB should not be afraid to use their usual tactics while in attack.
Because Augsburg do not necessarily boast the highest-calibre of players in their squad, expect them to make use of the long-ball as much as possible. If they are able to keep possession for an extended period of time, FCA like to make use of crosses and take as many shots as possible. This has been their formula so far this season and to this point, it has worked well.
If all else fails for Augsburg they will likely attempt to draw fouls on the edge of the penalty box to set up a free kick in a potentially dangerous area for Dortmund. This should be another match where BVB will dominate possession somewhere around the 70/30 ratio, so Augsburg will have to make the most of their chances, as those will likely be scarce.
Much like in previous matches against Hertha Berlin, SC Freiburg, and VfL Wolfsburg, I do not see the BVB back line being tested all too often. There will be the occasional chance for an Augsburg counter, but beyond that, I see very little danger of Dortmund conceding their second goal of the season. Marc Bartra should finally be fit and ready to play after a full recovery from his adductor injury.
The midfield may see some changes in the lineup this weekend as Gonzalo Castro has again displayed his lack of creativity when playing in attack. Expect to see either Mahmoud Dahoud, Julian Weigl, or Shinji Kagawa to be inserted into the starting XI.
Look for Augsburg to play deep for most of the match as Dortmund bring the Bundesliga’s top-rated offence into the weekend. League leading-scorer Pierre Emerick Aubameyang will again lead the BVB attack, flanked by Maximilian Philipp and Andrey Yarmolenko on the wings.
It is unlikely there will be any tactical changes from manager Peter Bosz. Augsburg should be respected, especially on their home pitch, but their lack of overall quality and skill compared to a Dortmund side currently clicking on all cylinders should prove to be too much in the end. I anticipate an aggressive approach from Bosz’s lads with the intent of breaking Augsburg’s spirit and thus, putting an end to this match in the early phases.
PREDICTION: FC Augsburg 0-3 Borussia Dortmund
FCA: Hitz, Gouweleeuw, Khedira, Hinteregger – Opare, Max – Koo, D. Baier – Heller, Caiuby – Finnbogason
Manager: Manuel Baum
BVB: Bürki – Piszczek, Sokratis, Bartra, Zagadou – Kagawa, Sahin, M. Götze – Yarmolenko, Aubameyang, Philipp
Manager: Peter Bosz