Teams that finished last season ranked second and third behind the champion Bayern Munich are set to square off on Saturday at Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund. The Black and Yellows are coming off from their sixth win of the season while the Bulls on the other side also managed to connect two wins in a row, most recent one against FC Koln on the road. Both teams are also competing in two fronts this season having in mind their appearance in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, but have not been very successful so far. Dortmund has two defeats after first two rounds (1:3 Tottenham on the road and Real Madrid at home) while RB Leipzig has one draw (1:1 against AS Monaco at home) and one loss (0:2 against Besiktas on the road).
This busy schedule has definitely made an effect on the Bulls’ domestic performances while Dortmund team seems to be steady still. It’s time to win some bucks so let’s take a closer look.
Dortmund vs. RB Leipzig
Three-Way: 1: Dortmund -159; X: +376 Draw; RB Leipzig +550
Spread -1: Dortmund -112; RB Leipzig +108
Total +3.5: Over +121; Under -125
FC Dortmund team is the current leader of the German Bundesliga competition with 19 total points earned and 6-1-0 record. In first five rounds they didn’t even concede a goal but in last two weeks of play, they recorded one goal conceded in each game while scoring eight. The only flop occurred in week 3 when they recorded a goalless draw against SC Freiburg on the road. The six times German Champion is recording a perfect start of the season and it’s raising the fans’ hope that they could finally take down Bayern of its throne. Still, there is some reason for concern because Dortmund has shown some weaknesses already. Aforementioned draw in Freiburg shouldn’t end that way because Dortmund team had one player more on the pitch for a large part of the duel after one of Freiburg’s players got sent off but they couldn’t find the way towards the opponents’ goal. Also, they started the UEFA Champions League play with a road loss in London against Tottenham at Wembley, 3:1 and a home loss with the same result against Real Madrid in the week 2. To be fair these were probably the toughest contests they’ll face during the group stage, but a real effort will have to be made if they want to qualify for the next stage of the competition.
Statistically, the team is showing some big numbers as they score 3.00 goals per game. Six of seven matches in the league had over 1.5 goals in total while two of those matchups had over 4.5 goals in total. They failed to score in only one game so far and they managed to score at least one goal in both halves in 71% of the matches. In a 2:1 road win over FC Augsburg coach Bosz started with the 4-1-2-3 scheme, placing Piszczek, Sokratis, Bartra, and Toljan as four defenders. Wiegl, Kagawa, and Dahoud operated in the middle of the field while Yarmolenko, Pulisic, and Aubameyang had mostly offensive assignments. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tops the team in scoring with eight goals so far (shares the top spot for the league-high with Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski) while Maximilian Philipp has four on his account. Shinji Kagawa and Christian Pulisic scored two each while Andriy Yarmolenko and Mahmoud Dahoud top the assisting aspect with three and two in their accounts. Defenders Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Omer Toprak dominate the passing segment with 596 and 482 total passes.
Dortmund’s injury list is quite long at the moment. Marcel Schmelzer (ankle), Lukasz Piszczek (knee) and Eric Durm (hip) are expected to be back during the next month while Hendrik Bonmann’s (knee) and Marco Reus’s (cruciate ligament) timetable for return is set for next year. Sokratis Papastathoupoulos (foot), Nuri Sahin (back), Mahmoud Dahoud (tooth), Roman Burki (tooth) are all listed as doubtful for Saturday while Sebastian Rode’s (groin) status is unknown. Great news for Dortmund’s fans is that Andre Schurrle (thigh) is back in training while Raphael Guerreiro (foot) is listed as day to day.
Playing on two fronts obviously made an impact on the RB Leipzig team as they recorded a couple of bad results in the domestic league exactly in the same time when UEFA Champions League group stage matches were on the schedule. Two draws and two defeats in both competitions occurred in the span of two weeks but the team managed to regroup prior to this international break and recorded two consecutive Bundesliga wins over Eintracht Frankfurt at home and against FC Koln on the road.
Currently, they rank at No. 4 spot in the league table with 13 points in seven games and a 4-1-2 record. They score 1.71 and concede 1.14 goals per match (12-8 goal difference, 4-4 on the road) and 57% of their matches had over 2.5 goals in total. They manage to score at least one goal in both halves in every fourth duel, while both teams scored in 57% of their total games. 14% of their matches had over 4.5 goals in total and were over 2.5 goals at half-time. Coach Hasenhuttl mostly uses traditional 4-4-2 scheme and that was the case in the last round’s win over Koln. Klostermann, Konate, Upmecano, and Halstenberg started on the defensive line while Bruma, Ilsanker, Demme and Forsberg operated in the midfield. Sabitzer and Poulsen started as strikers while Gulasci kept his position between the bars. Centre-Forward Timo Werner tops the team in scoring with five goals while Jean-Kevin Augustin has two in his account. Augustin also collected two assists so far while Marcel Sabitzer has team-high three. Passing segment is being dominated by defender Dayot Upmecano with 360 and midfielder Diego Demme with 346 total passes.
The Bulls have shortest injury list in the German Bundesliga at the moment with only three guys listed as doubtful for Saturday. Fabio Coltorti is having some muscle issues while Marcel Sabitzer is reportedly having troubles with a tooth injury. Stefan Ilsanker has a broken toe.
Dortmund vs. Borussia Monchengladbach – Match Prediction
Both last year’s matchups went the home team way (1:0 wins) and I think that this game will also be goalkeeper-friendly when it comes to the number of total goals. Under 3.5 goals in total should be a no-brainer and that’s where I’ll put my money. Having in mind the number of injured players on Dortmund side, the home team win is not as certain as it might look at the first glance. My advice to you is to check out the possibility of putting your green on a draw or a visitor win because this might be the round when Dortmund records their first loss of the season.
My pick: Under 3.5 goals (-125)
Additional Pick: RB Leipzig DC X2 (+171)
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