Erling Haaland will be keen to provide a goal-filled conclusion to his time at Borussia Dortmund as he prepares for his last game for the club as they take on relegation-threatened Hertha Berlin on Saturday (kick-off 3.30pm CEST).
Dortmund won a runners-up position with victory in Greuther Furth last week. On Tuesday, Haaland announced that he would be joining Manchester City for July. Then, Karim Adeyemi, a German international, quickly confirmed the arrival to fill the void. This match will provide Haaland with the ideal stage to sign off in his only way: with goals. This season, the Norwegian forward has scored 21 goals in 23 Bundesliga matches and will hope to add to his total against Hertha’s 69. Marco Rose, head coach, is unlikely to make any changes to his team as a number of first-team regulars are still absent, such as Gregor Kobel and Mats Hummels. This will see Axel Witsel and Jude Bellingham line up in central halfback for the last time, while the veteran Belgian international is also playing his final match for the club. Roman Burki, goalkeeper, is also said farewell.
BVB will experience a difficult occasion, but they have a vital role in the Bundesliga season with visitors who hope to avoid any tears as they fight for Bundesliga survival. After winning back-to-back matches against Augsburg, VfB Stuttgart seemed to have lifted the Old Lady from danger. However, they lost points in a 1-1 draw against Arminia Bielefeld. The same happened last week with ‘s 2-1 defeat at home to Mainz. This means that a draw would suffice for Felix Magath’s team – currently 15th and three ahead of Stuttgart – to maintain their top-flight status. A Stuttgart victory over Cologne would open the door to a contest for the relegation playoff. However, a defeat could lead to a loss. Marcel Lotka, Dortmund’s goalkeeper, will get to see his home stadium starting next season.
- Haaland scored 61 goals in 66 Bundesliga matches.
- With nine goals, Marco Reus is Dortmund’s second highest scorer after Haaland. He has also contributed 12 assists, which is a record for the team.
- Dortmund has a single-season Bundesliga goal record of 84. They are currently at 83.
- Boateng made 10 Bundesliga appearances in a loan spell at Dortmund back in 2009. Boateng is set to play his final and 147th game in the German top flight.
- Magath has had to face BVB more times than any other coach (P31. W12. D8, L8). He has won Dortmund four times in a row.
- Hertha has lost five of their seven previous trips to Dortmund and are now winless. They have won four of their 34 total matches, with a final score of 2-1.
Dortmund: Burki – Can, Akanji, Zagadou – Wolf, Witsel, Bellingham, Guerreiro – Brandt, Reus (c) – Haaland
Subs: Unbehaun, Schulz, Moukoko, Reinier, Meunier, Passlack, Pongracic, Bynoe-Gittens, Pheral
Out Dahoud, Hazard, Hummels (back), Hummels(thigh), Kobels (ankle), Malens (muscular), Meunier [hamstring], Morey (knee], Reyna (“hamstring”), Tigges (“ankle”)
Coach: Marco Rose
Hertha: Lotka – Pekarik, Boyata (c), Kempf, Plattenhardt – Tousart, Ascacibar – Ekkelenkamp, Serdar, Mittelstadt – Belfodil
Subs: Christensen, Bjorkan, Darida, Maolida, Jovetic, Richter, Boateng, Dirkner, Atemona
Out: Dardai (hip), Gechter (cold), Jarstein (knee), Klunter (shoulder), Lee (ankle), Schwolow (thigh), Selke (muscular), Stark (cold)
Coach: Felix Magath