After fourteen weeks away, Bundesliga is back! Dortmund travel to last year’s 8th-placed Wolfsburg with new signings Kostas Katsouranis and Dennis Praet in the matchday squad.
Both sides won their cup ties last weekend against fifth-tier opposition, with Robert Lewandowski’s first-half hat-trick seeing off Markranstädt 3-0 and four goals from Rasmus Jönsson firing Wolfsburg towards an 8-0 win at Lichtenberg.
The entire BVB squad has reported as match fit and available. Manager Grayson Surman spoke to World Soccer earlier in the week about BVB’s opponents: “I think it’s going to be a very tight affair on Saturday, there will only be a goal or two in it and hopefully it will go our way. I get on really well with Felix (Magath, VfL manager), we’re really similar in that we both like to be in control of everything at our clubs and insist on running things our way.”
VfL Wolfsburg finished 8th in Bundesliga last season, missing out on European football by a goal difference swing of just six behind Werder Bremen. Their home record was unconvincing though, ranked 10th in the league, only winning 7 of their 17 home games. They reached the DFB-Pokal quarter-finals before falling to Stuttgart.
They failed to win any (4 draws) of their last six games, and only won three of their last eleven – against Mainz, Dusseldorf and Hamburg – all 2-0 wins at the Volkswagen Arena. Pre-season saw them play six matches, including a great 3-1 win over Benfica but their final 0-5 defeat by Werder Bremen at home would have set alarm bells ringing.
The club’s only summer signing was goalkeeper Timo Ochs after he was released by 1860 Munich. Centre-back Emanuel Pogatetz (collarbone) and midfielder Ku Ja-Cheol (cruciate) are their only confirmed absentees from the squad.
Former BVB legend Dedê pointed out fellow Brazilian defender Naldo as the man Dortmund had to outplay in order to get anything from the game. The centre-back played 30 matches at the heart of defence for Wolfsburg last season after a £4.3m move from Werder Bremen last summer.
Draw : 2-1
Referee: Jochen Drees (Bad Kreuznach)
Last season the home team won the league match 1-0.
43 year-old Jochen Drees is appointed as the man in the middle for tomorrow’s fixture, with his most recent match being the Champions League tie between Twente and Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday evening. In his last ten matches, Mr Drees has shown 20 yellow cards, 3 red cards, awarded 1 penalty, and scored an average rating of 7.53.