Dortmund will be looking to get their rhythm back in the league, as they take on relegation candidates Nurnberg away from home.
Monday 18th February, 19:30
This has been a season to forget for Nurnberg. The bottom of the table side have only managed to put together two wins all season. Both wins coming at home in the month of September. The Bavarian side have only picked up twelve points all season, Despite their poor points total for the season, the home side are only a win away from leapfrogging Hannover in 17th spot and making a claim for the relegation play-off place in 16th which is held by Stuttgart. A win in this match will be a tall order as Dortmund will be focussed on ending their recent winless run and extend their gap at the top.
Die Ruhmreiche is Nurnberg’s nickname, which translates to The Glorious in German have been anything but glorious this season. However a glimmer of hope for them in this fixture is that they have performed slightly better in front of their own fans this season. They have averaged more goals at home with a goal per home game (1.00) which is more than the 0.60 goals they score on average away from home. As well as this they have been able to pick up clean sheets in 27% of their home matches, which is not a great statistic but far better than the zero clean sheets they have picked up away from home. Also they have only failed to score at home in three out of eleven home games compared to failing to score in 60% of their ten away matches.
An issue that has contributed to Nurnberg’s poor form in the league this season is that Boris Schommer’s side leave it late in games to pick up goals. Nurnberg’s fourteen of seventeen goals this season have been scored in the second half of games. This is an issue as Nurnberg have only averaged 0.24 goals by half time in their Bundesliga matches, this means they allow their opposition a chance to create a foothold in matches which could potentially rule out any comeback from Nurnberg.
Dortmund are beginning to look shaky at the top of the Bundesliga. The gap between them and German champions, Bayern Munich, has been reduced to just two points after Bayern defeated Augsburg 3-2 on Friday night. Dortmund are winless in four matches in all competitions. Within that period they were knocked out of the German Cup to Werder Bremen on penalties, beaten 3-0 at Wembley by Spurs in the Champions League and picked up two draws on the bounce in the league leaving the door open slightly for Bayern to move into the top spot in the league.
This season, goals have been a massive part of Dortmund’s league campaign, for better and for worse. The Yellow and Blacks have scored fifty-four goals this season, and they sit at the top of the league for goals scored. They have averaged 2.57 goals per game, home and away. They have only failed to score in one match this season. However it has been their habit of leaking goals which has been an issue for Lucien Favre’s side this season. On average Dortmund concede at least a goal per game (1.10), which has led to 71% of their matches ending with both teams scoring. Despite their inability to plug their goal leak, Dortmund have only lost one game all season, the defeat came in December against Fortuna Dusseldorf. It has been drawing games which has been an issue for Dortmund lately, they have drew five matches all season with two of those draws coming this month in rounds; twenty and twenty-one in the Bundesliga.
Dortmund adopt a more conservative approach when playing games away from the Signal Iduna Park. On average Dortmund score 3.36 goals per home game whereas when they play away they only score 1.82 goals per game. It is likely Favre does this to decrease the amount of goals being conceded. This has paid off as he has limited his side’s opposition to only 0.80 goals per game when playing away from home.
This game wouldn’t have been an easy one for Nurnberg but it has been made a lot harder by the absences of key players from their playing squad. The home side will be without, Austrian defender, Georg Margreitter. The player has been missing in Nurnberg’s last two matches after picking up a muscle injury. They will also be without their Dutch striker Vura who missed their last game due to a groin injury. Despite, defender, Kevin Goden’s return from his thigh injury in Nurnberg’s 1-1 draw with Bremen, he has now been ruled out of contention for the foreseeable future with a muscle injury.
Due to Simon Rhein’s red card in Nurnberg’s last match against Hannover sees the midfielder miss the Dortmund game with a suspension.
Like Nurnberg, Dortmund are missing key players for this match. Marco Reus will miss the match due to a thigh injury. They will also miss the Polish right back Lukasz Piszczek due to a recurring foot injury which ruled him out of the Champions League tie with Tottenham at Wembley last week. Manuel Akanji will remain missing from selection due to a hip injury picked up in December.
The bookies have made Dortmund favourites to win this match, with them giving the away side odds of 8/11 to be victorious in this game. Nurnberg have odds of 7/1 to pick up a win here. I agree that it will be unlikely that the match will end with a home win. Dortmund despite missing key players should have enough quality around their squad to come away with a win. Since goals haven’t been an issue for Dortmund when playing teams in the relegation zone as they have scored sixteen goals over the four games they have played against Hannover, Nurnberg and Stuttgart this season. I would add a bet from the goal market to the Dortmund to win bet, for Dortmund to win and over 1.5 goals to be scored is priced at 4/6.
Another market to be mindful of is the both teams to score market. For both teams to score in this match, the bookies have given odds of 4/5. Nurnberg’s statistic of failing to score in only 27% of their matches gives credence to this type of bet.
In regards to the stats which point to Nurnberg being ineffectual until the latter stages of matches, gives support to looking at the half time/full time market for value. Borussia Dortmund average a goal in the first halves of their matches (1.00) and Nurnberg average less than a goal per first half (0.27), this would allow free-scoring Dortmund to mount a sizeable lead in the game which would build their momentum in the second half. For Dortmund to win both halves, bookies give odds of 11/10.
Dortmund to win and over 1.5 goals (4/6)
Dortmund to win both halves (11/10)