Ask the Opposition

Ask the Opposition 30 – Borussia Dortmund (pre-season)

Manchester City’s tour of China hasn’t gone to plan so far. A cancelled match against neighbours United has disrupted preparations for Pep Guardiola’s first season. Luckily, tomorrow’s game against Borussia Dortmund seems to be in no danger of being called off. To learn more about BVB’s preparations for tomorrow’s game and the season ahead, we caught up with Dortmund fan Sandra Goldschmidt.

Hi Sandra, first of all let’s talk about Dortmund. It’s fair to say it’s been a summer of upheaval with eight signings and a few high-profile departures. As a BVB fan, do you believe it’s possible for Dortmund to challenge Bayern Munich for the Bundlesliga title?

Hello, nice to speak to you! Of course nothing is impossible, but personally I don’t think we will really challenge Bayern this season. We did make some promising signings, but I think it will all depend on how quickly they can play together as a team now. I think our pre-season is very demanding too with the China trip and we still miss players who participated in Euro 2016. I hope we will qualify for the Champions League again, but can’t really see us challenging Bayern this season.

We’ve signed Ilkay Gundogan for a fee of £21m and I’m curious to how you’ll think he’ll adapt. A good signing for us or will he struggle with the demands that both Pep and English football bring?

I think he will adapt well if he stays fit. He’s had some injury struggles over the years here, but especially in the first half of last season he was definitely back at his best. I think Pep’s system should suit him and once he’s fully fit he shouldn’t struggle with the demands of English football.

We’ve recently been linked with the young and talented Julian Weigl, but are there any other youngsters at Dortmund who are set for a breakout season this year?

I think we signed two very exciting young talents in Dembele and Mor, however I have not seen them play enough just yet to really be able to judge them. Question is also how they will fit into the system now after we signed both Götze and Schürrle. From players already here at Dortmund there’s Christian Pulisic and Felix Passlack. Pulisic had quite an impact in the second half of last season. It will also be interesting to see how much playing time Pulisic will get now with all the new competition in midfield. Jacob Bruun Larsen, who we might see against you too, is a very promising talent too, also a midfielder though, so I think he might play another year in the U19s first.

You demolished Manchester United in your previous game. Just how an impressive result do you consider that to be?

The game was much better than I expected. I really enjoyed watching it and the result looks very nice to be fair! But I don’t consider it that impressive, because Manchester United had so many players missing and in general I don’t get too excited by friendly results. We once won all our pre-season friendlies under Thomas Doll and nearly got relegated the season after so I’m always cautious not to get too excited by those kind of results.

Finally, your team and prediction for Thursday’s game?

Team prediction is a tough one! Can see us playing with nearly two different teams each half again, but I’ll give the first half one a try: Bürki – Schmelzer, Sokratis, Bartra, Passlack – Sahin, Rode – Dembele, Castro, Mor – Ramos and I’ll go with a 2-2 draw!

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