The 2020 football fixture schedule is entering the home straight. Now that the international break has come to an end, Borussia Dortmund are preparing to resume their Bundesliga campaign on Saturday (kick-off 20:30 CET) with a trip to Hertha BSC. It will be the first of 10 competitive games in the space of 31 days.
"We have a month coming up in which we have 10 games to play. We need to concentrate on one game at a time," said coach Lucien Favre of the fixture schedule. "The players are ready for it. Our squad will allow for us to rotate regularly. I don't have any concerns whatsoever; we'll manage it fine."
With almost a full squad at his disposal, Favre may choose to begin the rotation in Berlin. The coach is only without the duo of Marcel Schmelzer and Dan-Axel Zagadou. The central defender partially resumed team training this week for the first time since sustaining an injury during the training camp. Favre is keen not to place a precise date on Zagadou's comeback, although he is envisaging a return to the matchday squad in the run-up to Christmas.
The coach has decided to wait until after the final training session before making a decision about whether to include Youssoufa Moukoko in the Black & Yellow contingent for the trip to Berlin. The striker celebrated his 16th birthday on Friday and is now eligible to play for the senior team. "He has fantastic potential. It's fun to train with him," said Favre. Moukoko has been training with the senior squad since the summer, while continuing to play for the U19s. "Youssoufa is an important part of Borussia Dortmund. But we should all take our foot off the gas a little bit so that he has time to fully develop," declared sporting director Michael Zorc.
Erling Haaland, who returned to Dortmund ahead of schedule following a coronavirus infection within the Norwegian first-team setup, has undergone several tests over the course of the past few days and has been cleared to play in Berlin. "He is 100% ready," Favre said.
Borussia Dortmund are third in the table ahead of their trip to Berlin. The capital club, who ended their five-match winless streak with a victory over Augsburg before the international break, occupy 12th position. "I've seen several of Hertha's games. They're very unpleasant to play against," concluded Favre.