Finally, the first official match of the 2020-21 season is upon us, as Borussia Dortmund open up their DFB-Pokal competition against MSV Duisburg. BVB will be looking to lift its fifth Pokal trophy in club history.
Duisburg are coming off a season that saw them finish fifth in the 3. Liga and one point behind Ingolstadt for the spot in the promotion play-off. Duisburg haven’t sniffed the top-flight of German football since 2007-08 and they’ve yo-yoed between the second and third division since. This will actually mark the second match against Duisburg this year, after drubbing them 5-1 during the preseason.
Dortmund should, and most likely are, heavy favorites going into this match. However, that doesn’t mean upsets can’t happen. There’s already been one big upset during this Pokal , with Hertha Berlin suffering a 5-4 defeat to Eintracht Braunschweig on Friday, and Hoffenheim needed penalties to defeat Chemnitzer today.
Favre and many Dortmund players have said that their goal in the Pokal is to win the whole damn thing, and while that may seem obvious for one of the best teams in Germany to set that as their goal, it’s nice to see them acknowledge and publicly state their goals of winning the competition.
I have no idea what kind of formation we’ll see from Dortmund or who will even be on the field to start. There have been numerous player combinations throughout preseason for BVB, and a few first-team players are injured. Does this mean Favre will roll with a three-man backline like he did for most of the Ruckrunde? Or will he go with his favored 4-2-3-1 formation? How many starters will we see take the field to start compared to normal rotation/bench players?
I would like to see a majority starting XI sprinkled with normal rotation players, that way it’s as close to a first-team line-up as possible. Knowing Favre, he’ll probably roll out a completely first-choice XI, including Marco Reus just back from lengthy injury.
I want to say that Dortmund will absolutely roll this 3. Liga side and win easily, allowing for some young players to see the field. But after two consecutive years of disappointing victories in the Pokal first round under Favre (2-1 in extra time against Greuther Furth in ‘18, 2-0 against KFC Uerdingen in ‘19), I’m going to be a little bullish in my prediction for Monday’s match.
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