With the international fixtures now over, the Borussia Dortmund women's handball team will be looking to continue where they left off before the break when they face VfL Oldenburg on Wednesday (5/10). They have started the Bundesliga season with three comfortable wins – two of them away. Now it is time for their second home game.
The visitors must not be underestimated in any circumstances. The Oldenburg ladies have looked highly convincing in their opening games and currently have a points tally of 3-3. "VfL's start has not surprised me," said Andreas Kuno, who will continue his spell as interim coach in this match. "They have the advantage that they are very well attuned. It's a young team that are raring to go and always go for it. The harmony in the group is a big factor."
In addition, coach Niels Bötel's charges boast a strong physical presence. Players such as Tina-Luisa Reinemann, Paulina Golla and Luisa Knippert all ensure there is a lot of height at the back of the court. "We need to go at them aggressively and not let them get a throw away. Otherwise, it'll be too easy for them," warned Kuno. Although VfL are missing an important element of their game in Kathrin Pichlmeier, who has a cruciate ligament injury, he does not believe that will change the dynamic of the match.
In contrast, the interim coach will be able to call upon the returning Emma Olsson, who could make her Bundesliga debut for BVB. She already featured for the reserve team at the weekend and made a contribution in the narrow victory against Aldekerk, scoring six goals. "But we will deploy her carefully and don't want to take any risks," said Kuno cautiously, adding: "The strain of the Bundesliga is different to that in the third division."
While the coach is once again without Harma van Kreij, the involvement of Olsson would allow Lisa Antl some important breathers. The 22-year-old returned from international duty with the German national team in great spirits. "We actually only have one more training session before the match, but the rest of the team have trained well over the last week. We're looking forward to joining them now and to the game on Wednesday," she said optimistically.
Anyone wanting to attend the match against Oldenburg live at Sporthalle Wellinghofen can do so. The throw-off is at 19:30 CET. Tickets can be purchased online here. The match will also be broadcast free-of-charge on Sportdeutschland.TV.