Stuttgarter Kickers vs. Borussia Dortmund: How BVB Will Line Up in DFB Pokal

Stefan Bienkowski@@SbienkowskiFeatured ColumnistAugust 15, 2014

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 21:  Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp (R) and assistant Zeljko Buvac look on during a Borussia Dortmund training session ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group F match against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium on October 21, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund kick off their domestic campaign with a tricky away match in the DFB-Pokal against Stuttgarter Kickers on Saturday afternoon. 

Although Jurgen Klopp's side will be over the moon with their recent Super Cup victory over rivals Bayern Munich, the coach and his committed side will know that a slip-up at this stage in the cup could ruin all that good work and the momentum they're carrying into the new season. 

Here's how we expect them to line up on Saturday. 

In defence we're likely to see a similar set-up to the team that took on Bayern in midweek, with a steady back four initially comprised of Polish international Lukasz Piszczek at right-back, alongside Matthias Ginter and Sokratis Papastathopoulos as the centre-back pairing.

Klopp was quick to point out following Wednesday's Super Cup match that Marcel Schmelzer had picked up a groin problem, and so we should expect to see him on the bench along with fellow defenders Neven Subotic and Mats Hummels.

Erik Durm will take his place at left-back, but don't be surprised if the coach makes an extra effort to give the two aforementioned central defenders a decent run-out if Dortmund take the lead early on.

Roman Weidenfeller is expected to return to the side in the goalkeeper position. 

Dortmund's central midfield continues to cause a slight headache for Klopp, as we learned in the post-match press conference on Wednesday that Oliver Kirch had picked up a "slight tear" and would be out of the game against Stuttgarter.

As such, with Nuri Sahin still fighting for match fitness following an injury last week, we should expect to see Sven Bender re-claim his spot in the middle of the park alongside former club captain Sebastian Kehl. 

Bender has been back to match fitness for some time now, following an injury that ruled him out of the World Cup for Germany and should complement Kehl well against the lower-league side.

When it comes to the forward three behind the striker, we should expect to see something similar to Wednesday's set-up of Jonas Hofmann, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, which worked wonders against an unsuspecting Bayern defense. 

Klopp may be tempted to shake things up a bit with the possible introduction of Milos Jojic, Kevin Grosskreutz or even Jakub Blaszczykowski—although the Polish international is far from fit enough to play an entire 90 minutes—but this is the set-up that seems most likely.

As we already mentioned with the back line, don't expect the starting side to stay put if Dortmund do indeed begin to dominate and score goals early on in this match. Key players will be dragged off the pitch to allow others a chance to work on their fitness. 

This then leaves us with the lone striker, which seems fitting to suggest that Italian international Ciro Immobile should find himself starting on Saturday afternoon.

Although Klopp may decide to alternate between the young poacher and the more direct option of Adrian Ramos, it would seem appropriate to allow Immobile an opportunity to finally open his account for the club and finally grab that first competitive goal. 

We saw on Wednesday just how desperate he was—shooting from all distances and angles against an unimpressed Manuel Neuer—and so it stands to reason that the young Italian would be more than willing to lead the line against this lesser opponent. 

Klopp will be more than aware that Ramos feels absolutely no pressure scoring goals in the Bundesliga, but if Immobile has to wait around for too long, the anxiety may begin to build up.

This game should prove well as ample shooting practice and an opportunity to grab a couple of goals at the start of the season.