Borussia Dortmund vs Mainz 05
The international break is over and that means the return of club football and the comeback of the Bundesliga. The Signal Iduna Park will play host to Borussia Dortmund and Mainz 05 on Saturday at 2:30 pm BST.
Dortmund return to league action is met with a matchup against Mainz, and Marco Rose will be hoping that the international break did not stunt their form. Dortmund won their last two games in all competitions, beating Augsburg and Sporting Lisbon, and with the top two teams in the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen, going head-to-head, this is a prime opportunity for BVB to leapfrog one of them.
As for the visitors, they travel north in less glamourous form. Despite only being seven games into the season, Mainz’s fans have been through all the emotions so far, beating RB Leipzig on the first day only to now find themselves winless in their last three outings.
Despite the international break giving injured players the chance to rest and heal, Rose still finds himself with a heavily depleted squad. Mahmoud Dahoud, Raphael Guerreiro and Youssoufa Moukoko have all been ruled out of the fixture. The news was more positive with concern to Erling Haaland, who has not featured in BVB’s last four fixtures but has the potential to make an appearance on Saturday.
Manuel Akanji and Thorgan Hazard look to have both overcome their injuries and will be available for selection. Giovanni Reyna and Thomas Meunier look to still have issues that they still need to overcome before they can play.
Bo Svensson has a bit more luxury compared to his counterpart but is still without a full squad. Star defender Jeremiah St. Juste is out with a shoulder injury, as well as Adam Szalai who has a knee problem. Dominik Kohr will also be absent after his red card against Union Berlin.
Borussia Dortmund: Kobel – Wolf, Akanji, Hummels, Schulz – Bellingham, Witsel, Brandt – Reus, Malen, Hazard
Mainz 05: Zentner – Widmer, Bell, Niakhate – Brosinski, Barreiro, Stach, Lucoqui – Burkardt, Onisiwo, Ingvartsen.
Players to watch
Donyell Malen's Dortmund career has been a slow burner but has started to show promise. He picked up his first goal for his new club against Sporting in the Champions League but has so far failed to pierce the back of the net in the Bundesliga, but with Haaland potentially missing this fixture, this could be a great chance for the Dutchman to put a marker down and announce himself to the Dortmund fans.
One player who hasn’t had a quiet start to life under Rose is Marco Reus and he will be tasked with supplying Malen against Mainz and so far this season, he has managed to fulfil that role as the creative spark in the team.
Mainz’s one to watch for this match is Anderson Lucoqui, who is Die Nullfünfer's left midfielder. He will have a vital role in trying to nullify Dortmund’s right side of attack and with the likes of Hazard and Jude Bellingham drifting over to occupy that space he could have a busy afternoon. The Angolan international will also be an attacking outlet for his team and with Dortmund having to rotate their right-back, due to injuries, Mainz could potentially find joy in that area of the pitch.
It is difficult to see Mainz leave Dortmund with any points on Saturday when you take everything into account, but with Erling Haaland still a doubt Karnevalsverein can take positives, as for BVB they will feel confident and will see this as an opportunity to jump to the top of the table if there is a draw between Bayern and Leverkusen.
Borussia Dortmund 3 – 0 Mainz 05