For the third straight weekend, BVB are set to face an opponent who are placed one point and one place above them in the standings. After SC Freiburg and VfL Wolfsburg, Borussia Dortmund are now hoping to successfully leapfrog TSG Hoffenheim. But to do that, they'll need a win away in Sinsheim.
With four straight wins, TSG Hoffenheim are the league's in-form team at the moment. Borussia Dortmund, on the other hand, go into the opening game of Matchday 6 with a sense of stability: Edin Terzic's team are unbeaten in their last 13 Bundesliga games across this season and last; no other team has put together a longer unbeaten run. "We're in good spirits, because we've made positive progress with two straight wins,'' says the BVB head coach.
"The points total is in order,'' said Terzic as he reflected on his side's total of 11 points from their five games thus far. "There is still room for improvement. We're still lacking spark and a sense of lightness,'' he added. This is particularly true of the team's forwards, with the exception of Donyell Malen (three goals so far). Hence why the coach is urging his side ''to try and get the strikers into dangerous areas. That will increase the chance for the boys up front to get that all-important final touch ahead of the defenders...''
"Push to the limit every day''
For the first time since the end of August, Terzic has had a full week of training with the entire squad. The head coach stressed that everything had gone well: "We put in a lot of good hard work. Everyone is fighting for their chance to be in the starting line-up tomorrow." The coach also addressed players who were not in the starting XI against Wolfsburg a week ago, noting that: "We're handing out chances, not punishments"). He then mentioned Karim Adeyemi by name, stating: "He wasn't the only one who's impressed me." Terzic sees encouraging developments on the training pitch: "The team have shown a good reaction to things we've discussed. That's how we get better, when we push ourselves to the limit every day." There will be no changes to the matchday squad, "but the lads are fighting over who gets to play from the start. We have one more important session. After that, we'll make our decision.''
Sabitzer, Morey and Meunier back in action soon
Marcel Sabitzer, Thomas Meunier and Mateu Morey will remain absent - but their return is imminent. Sabitzer could take part in team training as early as next week if his recovery continues to progress positively, while Terzic expects Morey and Meunier to return during or directly after the international break in mid-October.
For the time being, BVB will enter the next "English week" without the trio. The fixture scheduled for Friday night will see the Black & Yellows travel to Sinsheim to face TSG Hoffenheim, placed one point above them in the standings. "They are doing really well. They started the season with an unfortunate defeat, but now they're on a really good run." After briefly pointing out the opponent's strengths, which include scoring goals on the counter-attacks, Terzic added: "Wolfsburg were on that run too, and it was the same in Freiburg. It will be a tight game. In recent games against them, it's always come down to a single goal." Always in BVB's favour, who have come out on top in the four most recent meetings between the two sides.