Following their disappointing defeat to Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund will look to bounce back to winning ways when they face bottom club SC Paderborn on Sunday. The Black and Yellows’ title hopes are well and truly over as they are trailing the Bavarians by seven points now. However, with Lucien Favre facing scrutiny, it could be important for him to finish the season on a strong note.
Predicted Borussia Dortmund Lineup Vs SC Paderborn
Favre is devoid of options in the defensive department, especially with Dan-Axel Zagadou out injured. He is, therefore, unlikely to make any alternatives in the backline, with Manuel Akanji starting alongside Lukasz Piszczek and Mats Hummels.
All of these three defenders were excellent in the defeat to Bayern Munich. And they will be keen on retaining a clean sheet this time out against a far less deadly opponent in SC Paderborn. Leonardo Balerdi provides Favre with an additional option should any of them feel weary. But, the Argentine is unlikely to get a starting berth in the side.
Roman Burki, meanwhile, was culpable for Dortmund’s narrow defeat in Der Klassiker. He will look to make up for his mistake with an improved performance this weekend.
Mahmoud Dahoud has been ruled out for the rest of the season after picking up an injury in the last game. It is disappointing news for the midfielder, who was performing really well. But, at the same time, it could pave the way for Emre Can to return to the side.
The German international will most likely accompany Thomas Delaney in the double-pivot. It could be a difficult decision for Favre to choose between Delaney and Axel Witsel who is now fully fit. But given the way the Dane has performed in the past few matches, he is likely to get the nod ahead of his Belgian counterpart.
Elsewhere, Raphael Guerreiro and Achraf Hakimi are guaranteed starters in the wingback slots. Their presence will be key in the creative aspect of the game.
This could the match where Jadon Sancho returns to the starting lineup. The English international hasn’t been performing up to his potential following the restart. But, against a struggling Paderborn side, it could be an excellent opportunity for him to silence his critics.
While Sancho is expected to start at right-wing, he could be starting at the expense of Erling Haaland instead of Thorgan Hazard. The Norwegian whizkid limped off in the match against Bayern and has been ruled out. His absence means Hazard will operate as the false nine, with Sancho and Julian Brandt playing in behind.