Borussia Dortmund-Augsburg Preview: Hosts can strengthen grip on second
Jurgen Klopp’s men are four points up on third-place Leverkusen ahead of Saturday’s encounter with relegation-threatened Augsburg
By Jerrad Peters
Piszczek, Subotic, Santana, Schmelzer
Grosskreutz, Gotze, Reus
Verhaegh, C'sen-Bracker, Klavan, Ostrzolek
Hahn, Vogt, Oehrl, Werner
Borussia Dortmund’s two-year grip on the title will likely be released on Saturday as Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich need only a single point to clinch the championship. But with their Champions League aspirations still intact and an automatic berth in next year’s tournament yet to be clinched, the holders still have it all to play for as the season enters its home stretch.
Coach Jurgen Klopp will no doubt have Tuesday’s match against Malaga in mind when he names his team to face Augsburg at Signal Iduna Park, and to that end he’ll be unlikely to rush Jakub Blaszczykowski back into the line-up after the Poland captain was forced to miss Wednesday’s first leg with a groin injury.
Defender Mats Hummels is back in full training and has an outside chance of featuring, while left-back Marcel Schmelzer will once again wear a mask to protect a broken nose.
Augsburg, meanwhile, welcome midfielder Tobias Werner back from suspension but are still without goalkeepers Alex Manninger and Simon Jentzsch, who have Achilles and finger injuries, respectively.
The Bavarian side will also be missing defender Ronny Philip, who has a knee injury, and midfielder Koo Ja-Cheol, who has an abdominal strain.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Since losing the derby to Schalke, Borussia Dortmund have won their last two Bundesliga matches by a combined score of 7-2.
- Dortmund have kept just a single clean sheet in their last eight Bundesliga matches.
- Mainz and Bayern Munich are the only sides currently in the top six that Dortmund have yet to face between now and the end of the season.
- It took until the third week of January—or 18 matches—for Augsburg to get their second victory this season. Their first came after seven matches.
- Only once in their last nine matches have Augsburg managed more than a single goal.
- Dortmund were 3-1 winners when last these sides met in October and won the corresponding match 4-0 last season.
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Top 3 Predictions
Borussia Dortmund 3-0 FC Augsburg
- 19.89 %
Borussia Dortmund 3-1 FC Augsburg
- 10.61 %
Borussia Dortmund 2-0 FC Augsburg
- 9.02 %
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Aug 10, 2013||FC Augsburg 0 - Borussia Dortmund 4|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Apr 6, 2013||Borussia Dortmund 4 - FC Augsburg 2|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Nov 10, 2012||FC Augsburg 1 - Borussia Dortmund 3|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Mar 10, 2012||FC Augsburg 0 - Borussia Dortmund 0|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Oct 1, 2011||Borussia Dortmund 4 - FC Augsburg 0|
|Dec 14, 2013||Hoffenheim 2 - Borussia Dortmund 2||GER1|
|Dec 11, 2013||Olympique de Marseille 1 - Borussia Dortmund 2||UCL|
|Dec 7, 2013||Borussia Dortmund 0 - Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1||GER1|
|Dec 3, 2013||1. FC Saarbrücken 0 - Borussia Dortmund 2||GERC|
|Nov 30, 2013||Mainz 1 - Borussia Dortmund 3||GER1|
|17||Marcel de Jong||Midfielder|
The Poland international has scored in each Bundesliga appearance he has made going all the way back to December 8 - a stretch of nine matches in which he has bagged an impressive 11 goals. His 20 goals on the campaign are two better than Bayer Leverkusen’s Stefan Kiessling, and he has contributed five assists as well.
He has gone four matches without a goal, and his side’s safety from relegation may well rest on his ability to break that duck. The return of Tobias Werner from suspension should help, although manager Markus Weinzierl could be forgiven for wishing he had a few more options up front.
Thinking about the second leg against Malaga won’t stop Dortmund from posting a convincing win over Augsburg on Saturday. With the title about to be settled they may even feel a release of pressure and go on to fill the Bavarians’ goal.