Borussia Mönchengladbach travel to Borussia Dortmund in Saturday's late Bundesliga match. While neither side has started the season exactly as planned, Saturday's contest is a big opportunity for both to put things on the right track.
The last two matches have been a mixed fortune for BVB. They have scored five goals in those matches, but they've only picked up one point and conceded six goals. They've been a mess defensively which brought out a post-match rant from Mats Hummels. He and fellow centerback Neven Subotic haven't been able to find the form they had all of last season as they anchored the defense on the way to the double.
Dortmund aren't finding goals as easily as they did last season either. Robert Lewandowski has only scored once, and the team as a whole has only scored 11 goals. However, Marcos Reus and Mario Götze have yet to see any extended playing time together this season with the latter still rounding into full fitness. Once Jürgen Klopp finds a way to get the two of them on the pitch together, we could see some brilliance. Unfortunately, it won't be this weekend. Reus is not expected to start.
Gladbach are still adjusting to losing the spine of their team over the summer. They haven't found it easy replacing Dante, Roman Neustädter, and Reus. Working to replace them, Lucien Favre has brought in Álvaro Domínguez, Luuk de Jong, and Granit Xhaka. The most impressive of the three to this point has been Xhaka. The midfielder has slid into the role vacated by Neustädter and has fit in perfectly.
De Jong has struggled finding the back of the net since putting on a Gladbach shirt. He's only scored once in eight contests. Well, he's technically scored twice, but the first was an own goal. While he's not a direct replacement for Reus, De Jong is the closest thing that they have at this point. Reus scored 21 goals in all competitions last season. De Jong will be out in this match, so that onus will fall to Mike Hanke and Juan Arango. Those two must start picking up the slack for Gladbach to be successful moving forward this season.
Borussia Dortmund injuries and suspensions
Out: Patrick Owomoyela (muscular injury). In doubt: Sven Bender (cold), Marco Reus (knee).
Borussia Mönchengladbach injuries and suspensions
Out: Luuk de Jong (foot), Martin Stranzl (suspended). In Doubt: Patrick Herrmann (ankle), Tony Jantschke (ankle).
Gladbach are clearly the team that will be missing more due to injuries. Owomoyela isn't even close to being a regular contributor to the BVB side, but De Jong and Stranzl are in the starting eleven for Gladbach. If Bender isn't deemed fit from his cold, then Sebastian Kehl and İlkay Gündoğan will start in the two midfield roles for BVB. Reus, Hermann, and Jantschke are likely to take part, but there is a chance they could miss out.
Match Date/Time: 6:30 p.m. local, 12:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany
TV: Gol TV (U.S. & Canada)