After two uninspiring matches on the road, Dortmund return home tomorrow to take on a Stuttgart side sat second in the table. Again, only Ivan Perisic is unavailable though Mats Hummels and Dennis Praet will need to prove their fitness ahead of the game, having run their socks off in midweek.
The thinking amongst Dortmund fans is that Surman will resort to the 4-2-3-1 that made them such a dominant force last season, which raises the question over which striker starts. £32m man Jovetic is the only one to score of the three this season, Lewandowski is the club’s talisman upfront, and Schieber was the top-scorer last season. Certainly an interesting dilemma.
The Bender twins are likely to start alongside each other again, after playing once each in the last two games, with Schürrle, Götze and Reus ahead of them. Both fullbacks were exposed in midweek, so either Röcker or Koch may get a run-out, but it’s unlikely that Surman will change both.
An international weekend is on the horizon, so BVB are set to have a dozen or so players play at least once for their country before the club’s next match away to Wolfsburg on 18 October. Dortmund then play twice a week for the next eight weeks.
Stuttgart are enjoying their best run of form for a couple of seasons, having only lost one of their seven – an opening day defeat at Freiburg. The club slipped dangerously close to the bottom three last term, with a solitary draw in their last six games keeping them afloat by a single point.
Tamás Hajnal is a doubt tomorrow, as he took a knock to the shin in training at the weekend and has sat out sessions since. They’ll also be without striker Vedad Ibisevic who will be out for at least six months having suffered his third hernia in two years.
John Audel leads their scoring charts, with three in seven, including the opening goal in their 3-2 win over Bayern Munich, but it’s Martin Harnik who has been pinpointed as their man threat tomorrow. The winger offers the club a lot down their right flank, and has two goals and two assists so far this season.
A win for the visitors would put them top of the table on Saturday night, with Schalke not in action until Sunday evening.
Dortmund won both league games 1-0 last season, with Felipe Santana scoring the winner at home in September 2013, and a third-minute goal by Robert Lewandowski enough to win the game in Stuttgart back in February. Stuttgart haven’t won at BVB since the 2006-07 season.
Tomorrow’s referee is Florian Meyer from Braunschweig, who has shown twelve yellow cards in his four Bundesliga matches this season, including three in Stuttgart’s 2-1 win over Hertha Berlin in August. He refereed the opening Bundesliga match of the season, Dortmund’s 3-0 win over Werder Bremen.