Borussia Dortmund face their toughest test of the year so far as they play RB Leipzig and look to go 10 wins from 10 games. While Leipzig will want to close the gap with Dortmund and Bayern Munich with a win.
Dortmund continued their great start to the year with a 1-0 win against relegation-threatened Hoffenheim. After a brief scare from Ozan Kabak who forced a save from Gregor Kobel, Julian Brandt opened the scoring just before halftime. Marius Wolf had a goal ruled out for a foul in the build-up to the goal, but Hoffenheim rarely worried the Dortmund goal.
Leipzig had the tougher test as they played Eintracht Frankfurt. Leipzig comfortably beat Frankfurt 2-1 with Timo Werner opening the scoring early on before turning provider for Emil Forsberg to double Leipzig’s lead just before halftime. Frankfurt pressured Leipzig in the second half as they took their foot off of the peddle which allowed Dijbril Sow to equalise. The result brings Leipzig within four points of Dortmund and Bayern.
If Dortmund are to beat Leipzig their defence will need to be strong once again. After being poor in the first half of the season, the likes of Niklas Süle and Nico Schlotterbeck have finally been able to gel and do not prove to be as error-prone as before. The addition of Julian Ryerson is a more solid defensive option compared to Thomas Meunier. While Kobel has put in performances that may make him the best goalkeeper in the league at the moment. Attacking-wise, Dortmund have benefited from Brandt playing his best-ever football since moving from Bayer Leverkusen while other players such as Jamie Bynoe Gittens have shown their impact off of the bench.
For Leipzig, they will benefit from the potential start of Christopher Nkunku who could make his return to the starting lineup. If the Frenchman does not start, Leipzig still has plenty of firepower that Dortmund could potentially be worried about as Dominik Szoboszlai and Timo Werner have found their form as of late while Benjamin Henrichs has proved to be a game-changer for Leipzig in the new year. However, the absence of Konrad Laimer through suspension may prove to weaken Leipzig’s usually strong defence.
The last time these two teams met at the beginning of the season was in Marco Rose’s first game in charge at Leipzig. Leipzig won 3-0 with goals from Willi Orban, Szoboszlai and Amadou Haidara as Dortmund struggled to do anything right in the game, but now they look to be a completely different team.
GGFN | Jack Meenan