Borussia Dortmund will host rivals Bayer Leverkusen at the Signal Iduna Park, in this weekend’s topspiel. Both the sides have experienced a rather tough season. After collecting 40 points, Dortmund currently sit third in the league table, 13 points behind table-toppers Bayern. While, Leverkusen are having an even rougher season, gathering just 30 points. Dortmund, however, are on a sizzling run of form, having notched up two consecutive 3:0 wins. Thomas Tuchel’s men will look to keep their form intact against one of the league’s bigger teams this weekend. Here are the predicted lineups for Die Schwarzgelben.
Roman Burki will guard the Dortmund goal this weekend. The Swiss goalkeeper was ruled out for most of the Hinrunde due to a hand fracture. The former Freiburg man has kept two clean sheets in his last two matches in the Bundesliga.
Lukasz Piszczek has clearly been one of the best BVB players in 2017 so far. The veteran Polish defender is the most prolific defender in the league, already netting five goals. His all-round gameplay could be vital against Leverkusen.
Sokratis had a great game last week against Freiburg, scoring a goal and managing a clean sheet. This time he will be tasked to stop the dangerous Karim Bellarabi along with a strong Leverkusen offensive line.
Marc Bartra is set to feature alongside Sokratis, following Matthias Ginter’s recent sickness(gastroenteritis). The new signing fared well in his last couple of games and will look to keep that intact against a strong Leverkusen side.
Marcel Schmelzer will feature on as a left back. The long-serving Dortmund player has been a vital player for Die Borussen this season. His experience is sure to be useful for Thomas Tuchel’s men.
Central Defensive Midfield:
Julian Weigl will provide security for Dortmund defense. The young midfielder plays a key role in Tuchel’s system. It would be interesting to see as to how he copes against the smart midfielders such as Charles Aranguiz and Kevin Kampl.
Ousmane Dembele has been showing his paces this season, after arriving from Rennes. The young Frenchman has arguably been the best attacker for BVB this season, scoring five goals and providing nine assists. His individual qualities might be useful for Dortmund offensively.
Central Midfield (R):
Gonzalo Castro’s resurgence has helped Dortmund climb up the Bundesliga table in recent weeks. This will once again be an emotional moment for Gonzalo Castro, for whom, Leverkusen was the only club he played at before arriving in Dortmund.
Central Midfield (L):
Raphael Guerreiro’s cleverness will lend Dortmund an extra advantage in the final third. The Portuguese signing was the highest rated Dortmund player in their win over Freiburg last weekend as he provided an assist and remained a threat for the opposition throughout the game. BVB fans will be expecting for some similar performance against Leverkusen.
Marco Reus will start as the left winger, the German international was godly against Freiburg last week. Providing one assist, but more importantly, looked to be in his groove. His form will play a key role for Thomas Tuchel and his Dortmund side if they are to get back at the top.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed a host of chances before putting in two tap ins against Freiburg. The Gabonese international has had a rough 2017 so far and being linked to Real Madrid has pissed off several Dortmund fans. He is still, however, the joint top scorer in the Bundesliga with 19 goals.