Borussia Dortmund vs VfB Stuttgart
The battle for the title of Germany’s Finest is about to kick up a notch as March comes rolling along!
In January, Borussia Dortmund seemingly had a chokehold on the Bundesliga title, a considerable point gap helping them stave the top spot of the league away from Bayern Munich. Some even went so far as to claim that this would be the season that Lucien Favre’s Black and Yellows will win it all.
However, the second half of the season has been nothing short of horrible for the BVB as they failed to win league game after league game. They now find themselves at risk of losing the summit as they now face VfB Stuttgart at the Signal Iduna Park.
Favre and his boys know that they need to stop their poor run of form here if they want to keep their hopes of a championship run alive. The BVB still have fantastic players on their roster, but can they stop their rut here?
Will the pressure break the BVB again?
A lot of Dortmund fans don’t want to hear this, but a mere two goals are the only thing stopping Bayern Munich from reclaiming the spot they rightfully think is theirs, and they cannot blame anyone but their club for underperforming over the last couple of games.
A quick look at Dortmund’s Bundesliga 2019 results should tell you all you need to know about their current run of form. They dropped points against teams they should have easily taken down in Frankfurt, Hoffenheim and Nurnberg. While they managed a narrow win against Leverkusen, Augsburg and a superb Ji Dong-Won helped the Bavarians level with Dortmund on points.
Moreover, it’s not only in Germany where they have experienced bad luck. They are officially out of the Champions League after Harry Kane and Tottenham kept them goalless in front of their own fans. While their play improved in this match, they still struggled to find the finishing touch they needed to get favourable results.
In order to achieve this, Favre needs every player in the team to rediscover the early-season form that got them in this position in the first place. Paco Alcacer needs to score more consistently in order to help stem the mark on Marco Reus. Axel Witsel must help the backline against opposition attacks in order to ease the pressure on Roman Burki. Jadon Sancho will continue to create for the Black and Yellows, but the opportunities he makes must be converted to goals.
Whether they actually get the monkey off their back is another question altogether, however.
Stuttgart also pressed to perform
A downtrodden Dortmund side is the best chance for Stuttgart to get some points and possibly claw their way out of the relegation zone. While their fate still lies on the hands of the BVB, they can also do something to ensure the victory.
They are one of the only three sides in the bottom half of the Bundesliga to pull off a positive result in the last game day, and their outstanding performance against Hannover 96 puts some distance between the two of them. Moreover, the goals of Mario Gomez, Ozan Kabak, and Steven Zuber are encouraging.
However, they are not disillusioned that the worst has come to pass. It hasn’t been more than a month and a half since their valiant efforts were denied by Bayern Munich. The players are more than aware of their stature coming in and will be determined to keep their good run going.
Their defensive and attacking strength will likely come from Benjamin Pavard. While the World Cup winner is set to move to Bayern in the summer, he is focused on helping his club avoid the drop: “My only goal, for the time being, is to ensure Stuttgart’s survival. We all love the club and none of us are happy about our current situation. It’s down to us to turn it around.”
These two German giants have played each other about a hundred times since 1965. The more neutral SBOBET fan may think that the head-to-head score between these two teams are completely lopsided, but the score is actually closer than what is expected.
Dortmund have only won 37 of those 100 games while Stuttgart are ahead of them by a mere two games. The remaining 24 have been draws. However, Stuttgart fans know that Dortmund have been the better team as of late. Six of the last games they have played were notches in Dortmund’s win column.
|Borussia Dortmund vs VfB Stuttgart||VfB Stuttgart First Half Asian Handicap +0.50 @ 2.07|
|March 09, 22:30 (GMT+8)|
The BVB are still the heavy favourites coming into this match with good reason. The sheer difference in player quality will be too much for Stuttgart to overcome, and their last game was a 0-4 defeat in front of their own fans.
However, their most recent run of form against Werder Bremen and Hannover should give them enough confidence to at least keep the first half tied. Kabak has been a vital addition to the side since his January move from Galatasaray, and Mario Gomez will be eager to equal whatever goals Dortmund score in the first half.
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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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