Jude Bellingham’s leadership skills will be put to the test when Borussia Dortmund travel to Freiburg on Friday (kick-off: 8.30pm CEST).
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Freiburg had a fairy tale run last season, earning UEFA Europa League qualification after finishing sixth in the Bundesliga and reaching the DFB Cup final. They picked up where they left off since the start of the new campaign, beating Kaiserslautern in the cup and Augsburg 4-0 on the opening day of the Bundesliga. Japan international Ritsu Doan is proving to be a wise acquisition after scoring in both games. His summer mate Michael Gregoritsch was also on target against former club Augsburg – returning centre-back Matthias Ginter, who spent three years at Dortmund earlier in his career, also hit the net. Young Frenchman Kiliann Sildillia could remain at right-back after impressing in the absence of injured Lukas Kübler, but striker Lucas Höler is sidelined with a broken metatarsal.
Revamped Dortmund have also enjoyed a winning start to 2022/23. Edin Terzic’s side made light work of Munich in 1860 in the DFB Cup but had to dig deep in their 1-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen. Former Freiburg defender Nico Schlotterbeck fitted in seamlessly, helping his new employers record back-to-back clean sheets, although goalkeeper Gregor Kobel received plaudits against Leverkusen for a string of fine saves to thwart Patrik Schick. Bellingham has also made a typically industrious change, having recently been named Dortmund’s third-choice captain, aged just 19. Fifteen-year-old senior England international France striker Anthony Modeste is in line to make his BVB debut after completing his move from Cologne earlier this week. Karim Adeyemi is doubtful, however, after injuring a toe on the opening weekend.
Look: Highlights of Dortmund’s hard-fought win over Leverkusen
- Doan has registered six goals and three assists in 35 Bundesliga appearances. He’s scored in back-to-back Bundesliga games, including his last outing for Arminia Bielefeld in May 2021.
- Ginter made 102 competitive appearances for Dortmund between 2014 and 2017.
- Freiburg are unbeaten in their last three home meetings with Dortmund, winning the previous two. However, Christian Streich has lost more times to BVB than any other team he has faced as a manager (14 out of 19 games).
- Bellingham registered 11 goals and 18 assists in his first 92 appearances for Dortmund.
- Schlotterbeck made 56 appearances for Freiburg, before joining Dortmund this summer.
- Dortmund have won their first game of the season for eight consecutive years, but have lost on Matchday 2 in each of the previous two campaigns, including at Freiburg last season.
Freiburg: Flekken – Sildillia, Ginter, Lienhart, Günter (c) – Eggestein, Höfler – Sallai, Doan, Grifo – Gregoritsch
Out: Ezekwem (muscular), Höler (metatarsal), Schade (abdominal)
Doubtful: Kübler (thigh)
Coach: Christian Strich
Dortmund: Kobel – Meunier, Hummels, Schlotterbeck, Guerreiro – Dahoud, Bellingham – Malen, Reus (c), Hazard – Modeste
Out: Haller (testicular cancer), Süle (muscular)
Doubtful: Adeyemi (toe), Özcan (foot), Rothe (hip)
Coach: Edin Terzic