FC Augsburg vs. Borussia Dortmund: How BVB Will Line Up in Bundesliga Clash

Stefan BienkowskiFeatured ColumnistAugust 28, 2014

Dortmund's head coach Juergen Klopp smiles during the German soccer Super Cup match between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich in Dortmund, Germany, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Sascha Schuermann)
Sascha Schuermann/Associated Press

Borussia Dortmund travel to southern Germany on Friday night as they try once again to get their Bundesliga campaign up and running, with a tricky away tie to FC Augsburg

Following an opening-day shock at the hands of Bayer Leverkusen, coach Jurgen Klopp will be determined to pick up all three points against a team who are expected to finish in the bottom half of the league this season.

"Everyone’s fit, but not fit enough to play," was the convoluted rallying call from the Dortmund manager, when speaking to the media this week about the continued struggles his side have endured with regards to injuries. 

Klopp's team may have gotten over the worst of the injury problems, but Friday's squad will still be anything but a full-strength effort. 

Dortmund confirmed on their website on Tuesday that Roman Weidenfeller would indeed return to his first-team post as shot-stopper-in-chief for the tricky away tie on Friday night. 

Speaking after Tuesday's bounce game against fourth-tier side SV Waldhof Mannheim, Klopp stated: "I already thought about bringing him on against Leverkusen, but I wanted to take this opportunity to see him having 21 players running in front of him. If nothing happens on the way home, he will play on Friday."

As far as the back line goes, Dortmund will again be without left-back Marcel Schmelzer and new club captain Mats Hummels. Schmelzer isn't expected to rejoin the match squad until after the coming international break, while Hummels was described as "feeling fine" on the club's website on Wednesday but won't be ready for the game against Augsburg. 

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As such, we should expect to see a defensive line not too dissimilar from that of which we saw against Leverkusen last Saturday. Lukasz Piszczek will keep his place at right-back, Erik Durm will stay on the left, while Klopp will have a choice of Neven Subotic, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Matthias Ginter for the two centre-back positions. 

Following Saturday's troubling performance, we expect Subotic and Sokratis to take the two available positions, with Ginter possibly featuring in midfield against Augsburg. 

Klopp will face tougher decisions in midfield, where he is still without Ilkay Gundogan, Oliver Kirch and Nuri Sahin. Gundogan was described as "making huge strides,” Sahin was still in rehab and some way off returning to training, while Kirch was still too far off to make any estimates regarding his own return. 

Perhaps even more worrying for Klopp is the fact that Sven Bender was still unfit to play in Tuesday's bounce game and so won't be able to start against Augsburg on Friday. A player that Dortmund desperately missed on Saturday. 

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Instead, we're likely to see the same lineup that failed so spectacularly against an industrious Leverkusen midfield. Sebastian Kehl will once again be asked to turn back the clock and put in a commanding performance a the heart of the Dortmund midfield, while Milos Jojic joins Henrikh Mkhitaryan to make up the usual midfield trio. 

When asked about the upcoming tie against Augsburg, on the club website on Wednesday, Klopp stated, "We are not finished developing our team," and that certainly looks to be true when we take a look at the front line that will likely face off against the lower Bundesliga side. 

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Like Bender, new striker Adrian Ramos was unavailable in Tuesday's match and so will likely start on the bench on Friday. This means that we'll once again see a front three of Marco Reus on the left, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the right and new signing Ciro Immobile leading the line as the sole striker. 

Reus' fitness was called into question by some fans on Saturday, following a rather lackadaisical performance, but after no further news we are expecting to see a marginally sharper performance from the club's star performer.