[BL - matchday 4] Mainz vs BVB - Xtratime Community
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old September 20th, 2014, 03:03 Thread Starter
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[BL - matchday 4] Mainz vs BVB

Focus shifts back to domestic matters now with 3 games in the space of 7 days and important points being in play to fight for and stay on the heels of Leverkusen and more importantly Bayern at the business end of the table.

Tomorrow it's an away game at Mainz, a happy hunting ground for BVB who have won on each of their last 4 visits to the Coface Arena. Never an easy game on paper usually because of the threat that Mainz could pose, but arguments could be made that this is the weakest Mainz side in recent memory with Tuchel's departure in the summer, as well as some key players, and the early season problems which led to Pokal/EL exits for them under their new manager. They are unbeaten in the league though still and it's an away fixture so nothing should be taken for granted going into this one.

The news on the injury front are mixed. Hummels returned to training on Wednesday and Gundogan is expected to do so soon as well, but neither will be risked in this match and probably not against Stuttgart in mid week either as Klopp wants to give them a full chance to recuperate from their injury woes. Subotic has calf problems picked up during the Arsenal game and may likely miss this one, whilst the updates on Piszczek and Kehl are still not very clear as to whether they'll take part either.

Looking at the current set of players available, I think something like this may be in store for the game:

Weidenfeller
Durm - Sokratis - Ginter - Schmelzer
Jojic - Bender
Aubameyang - Mkhitaryan - Grosskreutz
Immobile

Could see Ramos or Kagawa find a place in there somewhere too, depends on how much rotating Klopp is planning on making with the packed schedule which includes the Ruhr Derby coming up next week. We'll see tomorrow.

R.I.P. Tito Vilanova
(1968-2014)
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old September 20th, 2014, 16:54 Thread Starter
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Well, good news coming from the other games today; Bayern held at HSV who have yet another immediate 'new coach effect' like last season when Slomka beat Dortmund 3-0 in his first match and Schalke held at home by Frankfurt, although coming from two down to draw that one. This all means a win now will put BVB at the top of the league, at least for a day until Leverkusen play away to Wolfsburg tomorrow who have yet to win.

Starting lineup, confirmed for Mainz:

Weidenfeller
Piszczek - Sokratis - Ginter - Durm
Jojic - Bender
Aubameyang - Kagawa - Grosskreutz
Ramos

Bench: Langerak, Sarr, Schmelzer, Maruoka, Mkhitaryan, Gyau, Immobile

As I had hoped for, Klopp rotates the squad around a bit with 5 changes from the team who beat Arsenal; Piszczek for Schmelzer, Ginter for Subotic who wasn't deemed fit enough in time, Jojic in for Kehl, Kagawa for Miki, and Ramos for Immobile.

Despite all the changes, should be strong enough to get the job done here but hopefully the team won't suffer too much of a drop off and don't struggle for long periods otherwise things could end up like they did for Bayern today. That lineup is a testament to the good work the management did over the summer too, that so many players could be missing and Dortmund can still afford to put out such a strong lineup for a game like this. Much improved squad depth-wise in comparison to last season and credit to them.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old September 20th, 2014, 19:26 Thread Starter
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Mainz 2:0 Borussia Dortmund

Bad day at the office unfortunately, really below par performance and clearly the team struggled to cope with so many changes being made to the lineup from the Arsenal game. Mainz's style also made things harder, it was a struggle to break them down throughout and they were efficient on the counter (Hofmann had a pretty good game I thought). The penalty miss and the own goal were just the icing on a very bad cake, frustrating especially after the earlier results to miss out on a chance to go top but life goes on.

Really underwhelmed with Ginter and Jojic so far, would add Immobile to that if it wasn't for his performance against Arsenal. They're all struggling to really fit into the system as of yet and it showed today, Klopp maybe got it wrong to rotate as much as he did today, 5 changes was too much.

Onto Stuttgart and Schalke now, a big week coming up where pretty much six points will have to be the minimal target if the team isn't to slip too far behind the pack at the top.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old September 20th, 2014, 19:31
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Was interesting to see the 18 year old Maruoka get a few touches at the end, he looked decent. The first time I'd ever seen him play. With all Dortmund's injury problems I guess he could get a few more looks as the season progresses. And of course I was delighted that 'the other Shinji' continued his excellent scoring form

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old September 20th, 2014, 19:42
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It's the same as usual. When Bayern gets just one point, opponents get 0. With winning the home matches and not losing away Bayern will easily hold out until the winter-break and then the squad should be thicker and the players will also have regained some fitness that they lost this summer due to the WC and short preparation phase.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old September 21st, 2014, 04:56 Thread Starter
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Yeah, Maruoka looked pretty good. Just some good physical preparation and experience and he could be a useful option for the first team in the future. Plus no new injuries today so those are about the only two positives to take out of this poor performance.

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It's the same as usual. When Bayern gets just one point, opponents get 0. With winning the home matches and not losing away Bayern will easily hold out until the winter-break and then the squad should be thicker and the players will also have regained some fitness that they lost this summer due to the WC and short preparation phase.
Well, Dortmund are in a similar situation. Reus, Gundogan, Subotic, Kehl, Sahin, Blaszcykowski, Kirch, and Ji were all unavailable today because of injury problems. That's 1/3rd of the entire first team squad and it's been like this for quite some time now, which probably says a lot about how these injuries may be linked with the wear and tear built up in the squad after years of playing under Klopp and his intense methods/gegenpressing football (most managers who apply similar pressurizing suffer these problems, LVG and your own Pep are other examples).

What upsets me the most about losing this game is that had BVB won, they'd have not only gone top of the league but they'd have done it at a time when all of the key players are returning from injury in the coming. Imagine being top and having several quality players of that caliber return to the fold, it would have given the team plenty of confidence that they could seriously challenge this year and give Bayern a serious threat for once. But instead of taking advantage of their slip up with HSV, the team folded. Big time. And in the most frustrating way too if you look at that 10 minute spell Mainz scored twice in particular.

Of course a title challenge can still be formulated from here as it's early days still, but the team cannot throw away games like that and hope to win the league or any major title for that matter. Look at your own Bayern, they played like crap today but they still got the draw. The old 'win at home, draw away' formula still works, especially in league campaigns where those extra points make the difference. If BVB couldn't win today they should have at least stayed solid enough for the draw, not go all out and risk losing it all. It was a naďve way to lose.

I still believe though that if BVB can overcome its injury woes and regain the fitness of the key players that they can challenge Bayern for the title, at least for a prolonged period. A near-full strength Dortmund is a different animal to take on, lest not forget.

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