Bayer Leverkusen Vs. Borussia Dortmund: Pre-Match Primer

Neither Bayer Leverkusen's lineup, nor Borussia Dortmund's has any crazy surprises, but fans of these teams and football in general will be happy to see Michael Ballack return to the bench for Bayer and Lucas Barrios return to the bench for BVB. Neither is fit enough to play 90 minutes yet, but both should return to their teams' starting lineups shortly. Unfortunately, this season's breakout star in the Bundesliga, Shinji Kagawa, is injured and unable to play today. Despite the absence of those three players from the starting lineups, both teams field extremely strong sides.

Bayer Leverkusen lineup (4-4-2): Adler ; Reinartz, Freidrich, Schwaab, Castro ; Augusto, Rolfes, Bender, Sam ; Kiessling, Helmes

Borussia Dortmund lineup (4-2-3-1): Weidenfeller ; Schmelzer, Piszczek, Hummels, Subotic ; Sahin, Bender ; Grosskreutz, Goetze, Blaszczykowski ; Lewandowski

Those Polish names are nasty! BVB's setup and style should allow them to have more of the possession, but Simon Rolfes does have the ability to control a game on his day. Even if Dortmund are successful in dictating play for most of the game, their attacking players are the kind of guys who can make goals out of absolutely nothing. Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski is probably the player to watch that sticks out the most to me. He's looked competent in his substitute appearances, and he obviously looked more than competent in Poland before BVB bought him, but he's yet to have a real breakout performance. Lewandowski is a good player, but is he good enough to start on a consistent basis for a title contender? It's time to find out.

The game kicks off at 2:30 ET and we'll have live coverage right here, but you can catch the video at ESPN3.com.

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