18:30 (CEST), Saturday 26th August, Signal Iduna Park (Dortmund, Germany) BT Sport 3
Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin got off to perfect starts to their league campaigns and both will look to double their points through this fixture. For new manager Peter Bosz, it was a joyous first win as Dortmund manager and he’ll be hoping his side can produce a similar performance against Hertha on Saturday night.
Pál Dárdai’s side provided a less than convincing win but they all count the same. New signing Mathew Leckie was pivotal in the win but allowing Stuttgart to create a tonne of second half chances will need to be rectified against a rampant Dortmund outfit.
Last Time Out
Wolfsburg 0-3 Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund started their new campaign on the road at Wolfsburg with new coach Peter Bosz in his first Bundesliga outing. It was a perfect start for Dortmund who opened the scoring on 22 minutes thanks to Christian Pulisic.
Catalonian native Marc Bartra made it two moments later with a goal of the round contender, a touching tribute by Bartra by kissing his black armband after the tragic events that took place in Barcelona a week ago.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made it three in the second half in a game Dortmund controlled from start to finish.
Hertha Berlin 2-0 Stuttgart
Hertha Berlin opened their season at home to 2.Bundesliga champions Stuttgart. In a first half with chances at a minimal, the second half would spark the game into life when Mathew Leckie opened the scoring after half time.
Leckie’s ability to cut in on his left to leave Ailton in his wake before beating Ron-Robert Zieler low to his right. The Australian would pop again for the second to secure the points for the capital club.
Borussia Dortmund Lineup
After an excellent win in Wolfsburg, Peter Bosz will have an interesting selection dilemma for the matchup with Hertha Berlin. The dilemma comes in who should start in midfield between Mario Götze and Mahmoud Dahoud.
Götze put in a solid shift against Wolfsburg but due to his fragility, Bosz could go with Dahoud. I believe Götze will return his spot. No changes expected.
Hertha Berlin Lineup
Despite the victory, Hertha Berlin will have to be better against a tough Borussia Dortmund in front of a capacity crowd at the Signal Iduna Park. Pál Dárdai is set to continue the 4-4-2 formation but could change to a 4-2-3-1 throughout the contest. No changes expected from the starting XI but the likes of Genki Haraguchi and Ondrej Duda could play a part off the bench.
Key Battle: Christian Pulisic vs Mathew Leckie
Two attacking wingers who showcased they are the real deal are Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic and Hertha Berlin’s Mathew Leckie. Berlin’s Leckie was outstanding in the second half with two goals to give his side the points on matchday 1 against Stuttgart whilst Pulisic opened the scoring for Dortmund in their 3-0 win over Stuttgart.
Both players have plenty of skill, technique and pace which should provide an interesting battle between the pair. Leckie goes in as the underdog in this battle and will have to take his opportunities when he gets them, he is going up against Dan-Axel Zagadou who is traditionally a centre back and should look to burn him any way he can.
We know what Pulisic can do, Marvin Plattenhardt will be his direct opponent and keeping him away from any shooting lane will help Hertha in this tilt.
With the on-going fiasco that is the Ousmane Dembélé saga, he remains suspended until he gets his way. Borussia Dortmund showed that they didn’t need the childish Frenchman with great play on the wings from Maximilian Philipp and Christian Pulisic. They still have Marco Reus and André Schürrle to return from injury and you could say they are in good shape for the season with or without Dembélé.
Hertha Berlin looked good with possession but they looked shaky without it against a lesser side like Stuttgart. 85% pass completion as a team with 50% of possession and making things happen going forward will need to be the case against this week against Dortmund, otherwise it could be a long night for Rune Jarstein in the Berlin goal.
Key members Vladimír Darida and Per Skjelbred need to get on top early if Hertha have a chance of coming away with something on matchday 2.
Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Hertha Berlin
One will expect Borussia Dortmund to go in as heavy favourites. Hertha have won 2 of the last three contests between the sides in the Bundesliga however, despite Dortmund having the win over the capital club at home in a DFB Pokal Round of 16 match-up.
I expect Berlin’s defence to have a tough time stopping Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who will be a difference maker as Dortmund take the points on Saturday night.
Can Borussia Dortmund make it two wins on the spin or will Hertha Berlin snatch the points? Let us know in the comments section below
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