Borussia Dortmund vs SV Darmstadt 98 preview: Will the Lillies be able to take points from the Signal Iduna Park?

SV Darmstadt travel North to Dortmund to face the nations favourites.

Borussia Dortmund vs SV Darmstadt 98 preview: Will the Lillies be able to take points from the Signal Iduna Park?
Dortmund put six past Legia Warsaw in midweek | Photo: Piotr Hawalej/Bongarts/Getty Images

In what will be the third week of the 2016/2017 Bundesliga season, SV Darmstadt head to the Signal Iduna Park looking for three points against Borussia Dortmund side that have retained momentum despite losing to away to RB Leipzig last time out.

Attacking proficiency against Defensive parity

One of the more interesting matchups of this fixture will come out of SV Darmstadt’s defence, and how they will prepare to take on the momentous task of keeping out Borussia Dortmund’s front line. Head Coach Norbert Meier will comfort in his sides defensive record over the last two years in the top flight, managing 8th in the Bundesliga defensive leaderboards last season with nine clean sheets in total.

Despite the absence of their ‘player of the season’ and team captain Aytec Sulu, both Immanuel Höhn and Alexander Milosevic have proved a solid partnership in the centre of defense since the start of the season. Against FSV Mainz 05 last week they were a resolute force, marshalling Alexander Meier throughout and managing a clean sheet in what was a 1:0 win for the lilies. 

The task ahead of them this weekend is one that will be a true test of the two defenders, Borussia Dortmund showed the world their attacking prowess in their 6:0 win over Legia Warsaw earlier this week in the Champions League. However, Meier will have studied last weekend’s 1:0 defeat to RB Leipzig and how Ralph Hasenhuttl structured his team to defend against Dortmund. And will hope that his side will be able to replicate how Leipzig defended towards a well-earned clean sheet.

Dortmund will want to replicate their Thursday night performance this weekend. | Source: Bundesliga
Dortmund will want to replicate their Thursday night performance this weekend. | Source: Bundesliga

Team News

The hosts remain without Sven Bender, figurehead Marco Reus and Eric Durm as they prepare for the weekend. Both Durm and Reus are expected back in late October whilst Bender’s return late is unknown. Lukas Piszczek is expected to make his home return after suffering an injury in the Euros, he started earlier in the week against Legia Warsaw and completed a phenomenal 96 percent of his passes. 

Dortmund head coach Thomas Tuchel has been aware of the three absentees since the beginning of the season so it will be assumed that he won’t have any major worries going into the weekend.

SV Darmstadt will be unable to call on centre-forward Felix Platte who continues to struggle with hip problems after coming on loan from Schalke 04. However, Norbert Meier will have a full team at his disposal apart from this one exception.

Predicted line-ups

Borussia Dortmund: (4-3-3) Burki; Piszczeck, Bartra, Sokratis, Schmelzer; Weigl, Rode, Gotze; Schurrle, Dembele; Aubameyang

SV Darmstadt: (4-2-3-1) Esser; Jungwirth, Milosevic, Hohn, Holland; Gondorf, Niemeyer; Ben-Hatira, Bezjack, Heller; Schipplock