By Ben Sully @SullyBen
Matchday 22 will begin with a mouthwatering contest between two of Bundesliga’s heavyweights when Borussia Dortmund play host to RB Leipzig on Friday.
|Julian Brandt.||Photo: Borussia Dortmund|
Dortmund continued their impressive run of form last weekend with a narrow 1-0 away victory over Hoffenheim. Julian Brandt’s 43rd-minute goal guided Dortmund to a narrow win, which keeps them level with Bayern Munich, who sit top of the table on goal difference.
Edin Terzic’s have won all nine of their competitive games in 2023 – a feat that no other side in Europe’s top 10 leagues have achieved. However, Dortmund will be presented with one of their toughest tests of the calendar year when they go head-to-head with a Leipzig side managed by their former manager, Marco Rose.
Die Schwarzgelben have proven to be a tough team to beat on home turf this season, losing just one of their 14 competitive home games this term. Their only home defeat took place against Werder Bremen in August. Since that result, Dortmund have embarked on a 13-game unbeaten run at Signal Iduna Park, and they will be hoping to continue their fine form on Friday.
Terzic has confirmed that Julian Ryerson is available for the hosts after recovering from an eye injury. The Dortmund boss also revealed that Mateu Morey, Julien Duranville and Karim Adeyemi have making progress in their injury recoveries, although they are not available to face Leipzig.
They are also unable to call upon the services of Youssoufa Moukoko and Abdoulaye Kamara due to ankle and knee injuries respectively.
While Leipzig are unable to match Dortmund’s extraordinary run of victories, Die Roten Bullen have only lost one of their last 22 games in all competitions
In their most recent outing, Leipzig claimed a 2-1 home victory over Eintracht Frankfurt thanks to first-half efforts from Timo Werner and Emil Forsberg. Rose’s side moved into the top four as a result of the narrow win, leaving them four points adrift of Dortmund and Bayern ahead of Friday’s contest.
Although Leipzig will be aware that they will have to be at their best to claim all three points against Dortmund, their recent head-to-head record will offer the visitors cause for optimism. Die Roten Bullen have won their last three meetings against Friday’s opponents, including a comfortable 3-0 victory in the reverse fixture earlier this season. Incidentally, the commanding win took place in Rose’s first game in charge of Leipzig, and he will now be aiming to complete a league double over his former side.
Dani Olmo and Abdou Diallo are ruled out with hamstring and knee problems respectively, while Peter Gulacsi remains a long-term absentee. Rose will also have to cope without Konrad Laimer, who will serve a one-match suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season against Frankfurt.
Christopher Nkunku, meanwhile, has featured as a substitute in Leipzig’s last three games, and he could be handed his first start of 2023. Lukas Klostermann was absent last weekend due to an injury issue, but he is expected to be involved in some capacity.