For many decades, battles between Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen were an integral part of every Bundesliga season – until the Green and Whites were relegated to the second tier at the end of the 2020/21 season. After a year out of the top flight, Werder are now back in the Bundesliga and on Matchday 3, they will face BVB at SIGNAL IDUNA PARK (Saturday, 15:30 CET).
At the press conference two days before the match, BVB coach Edin Terzic made it clear that he is looking forward to meeting the opposition against whom he made his debut as head coach of the Borussia first team in December 2020 (a 2-1 win). "With Werder, you can tell that they want to do better than they did two years ago. They have caused us some trouble on several occasions, especially in the DFB-Pokal. This will be a very interesting game on Saturday," said Terzic in the run-up to the match.
"Even if they were only just promoted, Werder are not your standard newly promoted side," continued the BVB coach, citing, among other things, Bremen's squad, which – despite the year in the second tier – is full of seasoned Bundesliga players. According to Edin Terzic, Werder have "significantly improved in terms of performances and results" since head coach Ole Werner took charge. Their performances against Wolfsburg and Stuttgart had already shown the league that Bremen were a "very brave team".
"Highlight game" for Bremen's striker
According to Terzic, the heart of this team are Bremen's two strikers, Niclas Füllkrug and Marvin Ducksch, which contributed a total of 53 goals and 29 assists to Werder's push for promotion last season. For Ducksch in particular, the away game at SIGNAL IDUNA PARK will be a special one. The 28-year-old was born in Dortmund and went through all of BVB's youth teams over 14 years in Black and Yellow until his departure in 2016. "Marvin is a young man from Dortmund. For him, it is an absolute highlight game. Let's hope that it won't also be a highlight in terms of his performance on Saturday," said Ducksch's former companion Terzic, who still knows the attacker from his days in Black and Yellow.
Asked about the current situation in his own squad, Terzic had positive news to report on Thursday: "There is a lot of good news, almost all the lads are coming back." The BVB coach made specific reference to Salih Özcan, who has been training with the team since the beginning of the week, and to centre-back Niklas Süle. "Niklas is scheduled to be back in the pitch on Thursday. We will then look at it and see how many minutes he can play on Saturday," Terzic said about the chances of playing time for Süle, who last played in the cup against 1860 Munich.
In general, the BVB coach was pleased with his deep squad, which will be almost completely available to him. "As a coach, you are always happy to have a lot of options," said Terzic. He had always had to react differently in the previous games against Munich, Leverkusen and Freiburg, as the games were all going very differently. "This way, we are well prepared and can react to any opponent and any situation in the game. In addition, the strength of the team helps us to raise our level even in training." The task now is to play at that level again on Saturday at 15:30 CET – and perhaps to turn a promising start to the new Bundesliga season into a convincing one.