Preview: Fürth v. Dortmund (Sunday)


Dortmund stay on the road for their second of three consecutive away matches in eleven days, with a trip to the Trolli Arena, home of SpVgg Greuther Fürth. BVB have drawn two in a row and will desperately be looking to maintain the slim gap at the top, especially after Schalke drew level on points following their 2-0 win over Stuttgart on Friday night.

The 24-man senior squad are all match-fit, though Surman may rotate after two matches in five days, especially with Sven Bender and Marcel Schmelzer both one yellow card away from a one-match ban.

95-furthDuring the winter break, Fürth appointed former Spanish international Luis Enrique as manager after his sacking by Dutch top-flight side Heerenveen. In his two competitive matches, the club lost 0-3 at Stuttgart, and 0-2 at Bayern Munich, and Sunday’s match with Dortmund will be his first at home since being appointed.

After Fürth’s outstanding début season in the top flight, second season syndrome has taken hold, with runs of 4- and 5-consecutive Bundesliga defeats this season. They’ve scored the joint-least goals all season (14), and conceded the third-most (35).

Just the one home win from nine matches so far, a 2-0 defeat of Werder Bremen at the end of November, and the form table puts them rock-bottom with one win and four defeats in their last five, scoring just twice.

They’ll be without top-scorer Djiby Fall, who is suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season in Friday’s defeat at Bayern Munich. There are also injuries to defensive midfielders Johannes Geis, and Norman Theuerkraft, as well as to defenders Oliver Kirch and Mergim Mavraj.

Out of the Europa League and the DFB-Pokal, Fürth have sixteen matches to save their top-flight status, and Sunday afternoon presents a genuine opportunity for Fürth to turn the corner against a Dortmund side a little low on confidence, but a wounded animal is a dangerous one.

skybet95Matchday Odds:
Fürth: 9-2
Draw : 13-5
BVB: 1-2F
Sleet, 0ºC

In both of their seasons in the Bundesliga, Fürth have been Dortmund’s first opponents at home. After a 2-2 draw in 2012, Dortmund ran out 3-0 winners last September with a brace from Robert Lewandowski following a 3rd-minute opener by Mats Hummels.

37 year-old Thornsten Kinhöfer from Herne will referee the match tomorrow, his first for five weeks since the DFB-Pokal match between Hamburg and St Pauli. In his 37 matches, he’s shown 105 yellow cards and 4 reds, and only awarded 3 penalties – all to the away side. In three of his last six appointments, he’s scored a perfect 10.0 rating.