Borussia Dortmund - Werder Bremen Preview: Champions get new season under way with tricky home fixture

Jurgen Klopp's men get their title defence started by entertaining the Weserstadion outfit, who have brought in several new faces as they prepare for an assault on the top four


Kirch, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer
Gundogan, Kehl
Kuba, Reus, Grosskreutz


Gebre Selassie, Prodl, Sokratis, Ignjovski
Junuzovic, Fritz
De Bruyne, Hunt, Elia

The big news for Borussia Dortmund is that star playmaker Mario Gotze will not be fit in time to take his place in the starting line-up as he continues his recovery from an eye infection, leaving Jakub 'Kuba' Blaszczykowski to continue on the right wing.

Jurgen Klopp has also been dealt a fresh injury blow in the form of Lukasz Piszczek, who has sustained a thigh strain, and missed training on Wednesday. Oliver Kirch is expected to fill in for the Poland defender, due in part to Kevin Grosskreutz being required on the wing thanks to Gotze's lack of fitness. Despite sustaining an injury in Germany's recent friendly against Argentina, Mats Hummels is confident of playing against Thomas Schaaf's men.

Elsewhere, Sebastian Kehl made his comeback from injury in last week's 3-0 DFB-Pokal win against Oberneuland, allowing him to slot in alongside Ilkay Gundogan in the deep-lying midfield positions. Sven Bender remains sidelined as he recovers from hernia surgery.

After a summer of change at the Weserstadion, Thomas Schaaf is set to name a completely different starting line-up to the one that featured for his team last season.

Tim Wiese has left the club for Hoffenheim, leaving his former understudy, Sebastian Mielitz to take his place between the sticks, with Theodor Gebre Selassie slotting in at right-back alongside established defenders Sebastian Prodl, Sokratis and Aleksandar Ignjovski.

Elsewhere, Kevin De Bruyne, Nils Petersen and Eljero Elia should come into the team after their respective summer moves from Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Juventus, though the Dutchman has been struggling with a foot injury and could be replaced by Marko Arnautovic. Levent Aycicek has been struggling with a knee problem, and has been ruled out of the trip to Signal Iduna Park.

  • Borussia Dortmund come into this match on the back of a 28-match unbeaten run which helped them recover from a shaky start to clinch a second consecutive Bundesliga title.
  • Jurgen Klopp's side also featured in the first game of last season, beating Hamburg 3-1, with Mario Gotze (pictured) on form.
  • BVB have come out on top in their last five home Bundesliga meetings with Werder Bremen, last losing in 2006-07
  • Theodor Gebre Selassie, Kevin De Bruyne, Eljero Elia and Nils Petersen are all set to make their first Bundesliga appearances for Werder Bremen.
  • Thomas Schaaf is set to start his 15th season in charge of the club. He helped stave off the threat of relegation in his first game in charge - the last fixture of the 1998-1999 campaign.
  • Bremen were pipped to the 1994-1995 Bundesliga by Borussia Dortmund, finishing a mere point behind the champions.