Borussia Dortmund continue their quest for Bundesliga supremacy with a journey to struggling Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday at 2:30pm.
Lucien Favre’s side have responded expertly to the surprise 2-0 defeat at Augsburg on matchday two, winning each of their previous three outings in the league, including a resounding 3-0 triumph in the Revierderby against Schalke last week.
That emphatic win against their Ruhr rivals was followed up by an equally impressive 2-0 victory against Zenit Saint Petersburg in the Champions League on Wednesday, dispelling frustration from the Lazio loss a week prior and keeping things tight in Group F.
Arminia meanwhile opened up the campaign with an impressive win over FC Cologne, but since then Uwe Neuhaus’ side have struggled for form and consistency and now find themselves in 14th place, just two points above the relegation play-off place.
That means little at this stage, but the longer they remain languishing near the drop zone, the more the pressure builds. And they have not won in any of their last four competitive games against Dortmund, but will they break that 13-year duck this weekend?
Where to watch Arminia vs Borussia Dortmund on TV:
- UK: N/A
- US: ESPN+
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Arminia & Borussia Dortmund’s previous line-ups:
- Arminia (vs Wolfsburg): Ortega; De Medina, Pieper, Van der Hoorn, Laursen; Prietl, Maier, Hartel, Doan, Cordova; Klos.
- Borussia Dortmund (vs Zenit): Burki; Meunier, Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro; Dahoud, Witsel, Reus, Sancho, Reyna; Haaland.
Cebio Soukou and Andreas Voglsammer are both sidelined for the hosts with foot injuries, while Dortmund remain without Emre Can, Nico Schulz, Dan-Axel Zagadou and Marcel Schmelzer. Thorgan Hazard has returned as a used substitute in the past two games following his injury and could be in for a starting berth this weekend.
Players to watch:
- Arminia: It may be a case that Arminia need an injection of creativity and inventiveness to stop the rot and pull off an upset against third-placed BVB. One player who brings that to the table in abundance is PSV loanee Ritsu Doan. The Japan international joined PSV with high expectations, having shone at Groningen, the club responsible for producing Virgil van Dijk and, more importantly, Arjen Robben. Doan possesses similar traits to the Dutch legend and occupies a identical position on the right flank, with both players left-footed inside forwards. Things didn’t quite work out for Doan at the Philips Stadion and he is now on loan at Arminia, but at 22, he still has plenty of time to realise his potential and hopefully one day, reach Robben-esque levels.
- Borussia Dortmund: Only legendary Hamburger SV striker Uwe Seeler (19) has scored more goals in his first 20 Bundesliga games than Erling Haaland (18), which incidentally came in the inaugural season of the competition (1963/64). So it is certainly no mean feat then that Dortmund’s lethal Norwegian marksman has drawn ever so close to matching a 56-year-old record. The Leeds-born forward is a natural finisher in every sense and will be keen to add to his tally against bottom-half-of-the-table opposition. If he is in the mood, then Arminia face an uphill battle and will struggle to contain him.
Scoreline prediction: Arminia 1-3 Borussia Dortmund
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Bundesliga 2020/21 recent form:
- Arminia: LLDLW
- Borussia Dortmund: WWWLW