Borussia Dortmund will look to put their Bundesliga struggles to one side when they travel to Eintracht Braunschweig in the DFB-Pokal second round on Tuesday (7:00pm kick-off, UK time).
Die Borussen are down in fifth place in the table after winning just one of their last five Bundesliga matches, including a 2-1 defeat by Union Berlin at the weekend in Edin Terzic’s second game as interim boss.
Where to watch Braunschweig vs Dortmund on TV:
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Scoreline prediction: Braunschweig 0-3 Dortmund
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Braunschweig vs Dortmund build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
As always, Dortmund were expected to be one of Bayern’s closest challengers in the race for the Bundesliga title but, although an eight-point gap isn’t unrecoverable, it looks like BVB are more likely to be chasing Champions League qualification this season.
In what is their final match before the German winter break, Dortmund will be looking for a big confidence boost against second-tier side Eintracht Braunschweig. Peter Vollmann’s men have endured a torrid start to 2020/21, languishing in 15th in the 2. Bundesliga after their latest defeat by a 3-0 scoreline against Greuther Fürth on Sunday.
Can Dortmund advance in the cup to deliver some early Christmas cheer, or will Braunschweig pull off an unlikely win to add to the dark mood around Signal Iduna Park?
- Braunschweig (vs Fürth): Fejzic; Ziegele, Wydra, Nikolaou, Wiebe; Kaufmann, Kammerbauer, Kroos, Janzer; Otto, Proschwitz.
- Dortmund (vs Union Berlin): Burki; Meunier*, Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro; Can, Witsel; Sancho, Reus, Reyna; Moukoko.
Niko Kijewski and Leon Burger look set to miss out for the home side, while Benjamin Kessel is also a doubt.
Veteran left-back Marcel Schmelzer and Belgian playmaker Thorgan Hazard are absent for Dortmund, while Erling Haaland, Thomas Meunier and Thomas Delaney are all doubts.
Players to watch:
- Braunschweig: Goals have been a serious problem for Braunschweig so far this season, with only SV Sandhausen and Wurzburger Kickers (both 12) scoring fewer than their 13. Responsible for five of those goals is veteran forward Nick Proschwitz. The ultimate journeyman, having taken in spells in Switzerland, England, Belgium and Holland across his long career, Proschwitz has been calling upon all of his experience to keep Braunschweig ticking over. Two of his five goals have been with his head, while another has come from the spot, showing he can score in a multitude of ways. Dortmund haven’t kept a clean sheet in any competition for seven games and Proschwitz will need to take advantage of that defensive weakness if Braunschweig are to have a prayer in this one.
- Dortmund: Although the winter break is upon us, Dortmund are still likely to make a couple of changes for this Pokal encounter. One player who will be craving some valuable minutes is Jude Bellingham. The English teenager has made a solid start to life with Dortmund, notching three assists in less than 900 minutes of action across the Bundesliga and Champions League combined. Bellingham was also on target as Dortmund thrashed Duisburg 5-0 in the previous round of this competition earlier this season and will sense an opportunity to find the net again against a Braunschweig side who, on top of their offensive troubles, have conceded more goals (29) than any other team in the German second division.
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