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Nov 20, 2021 at 2.30pm UK
DortmundBorussia Dortmund
Malen (56'), Reus (85')
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Massimo (63')
Coulibaly (35'), Anton (48')

Preview: Borussia Dortmund vs. Stuttgart - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Borussia Dortmund vs. Stuttgart - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Borussia Dortmund and Stuttgart, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Borussia Dortmund return from the international break looking to respond to back-to-back defeats when they welcome Stuttgart to Signal Iduna Park on Saturday.

The hosts still find themselves well in the mix of a title challenge in the Bundesliga, whilst their visitors at the weekend are desperate for the points after a slump in form in these early stages of the campaign.

Match preview

Despite a never-ending injury list, Marco Rose had maintained Dortmund's pressure on Bayern Munich at the top of the table for most of the Bundesliga so far, but defeat to RB Leipzig prior to the break means they head into Saturday's fixture four points behind the reigning champions.

The absence of talisman Erling Braut Haaland had been carefully managed for a number of weeks, with victories grinded out despite the obvious drop in standards in an attacking sense particularly, but the Norwegian's goals and presence were felt most in BVB's last two outings.

Prior to the defeat to Leipzig, Dortmund also fell 3-1 at home to Ajax in the Champions League, with that result leaving their qualification hopes for the knockout stages of the Champions League hanging in the balance too.

In fact, two of the three league defeats so far this season have been suffered in Haaland's absence, but although his is the biggest void to fill, BVB have also been far from their best in certain matches this campaign due to missing a huge number of players for large periods already.

However, there still remains plenty of positives for Rose to focus on ahead of the return to domestic action at the weekend, as a four-point gap from the summit can still be viewed as an achievement considering the injury problems incurred during the opening 11 matchdays.

Another plus note is the outstanding home run they find themselves on in the Bundesliga's opening weeks, with a 100% home record achieved from the first six encounters in front of the BVB faithful, and scoring over three goals a game on average in the process.

The home defeats to Ajax in Europe and Bayern in the DFL-Supercup do damage the reputation of this run, but nonetheless it is one that Dortmund will be expected to maintain when they take on a struggling Stuttgart side on Saturday, which would make it a club-record seven straight home league wins to begin a new season.

As mentioned above, visitors Stuttgart find themselves on a deeply concerning run of form ahead of their trip to Signal Iduna Park, with just a single win recorded in their last 11 competitive fixtures across all competitions.

It is a run that has seen Die Roten freefall to 15th in the league table, and one that leaves them just one point above Augsburg in the relegation playoff place.

Boss Pellegrino Matarazzo has had to contend with a lengthy injury list himself in the opening weeks of the campaign, which has been felt deeper due to the loss of some key players in the summer transfer window.

Those two reasons have meant that the American has failed to build on Stuttgart's impressive ninth-placed finish on their return to the German top flight in 2020-21, and have turned another hopeful top-flight place into an unexpected relegation battle in the early stages.

Back-to-back league defeats have extended the losing run to three in all competitions, and are results that have perhaps been the most concerning during this disappointing start to the campaign.

A 4-1 humiliation at Augsburg, followed by a 1-0 loss to Arminia Bielefeld at the Mercedes Benz Arena prior to the break were fixtures that would have been viewed as potential opportunities to kick start their season against relegations candidates, so losing both has made Stuttgart's situation all the more desperate.

Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

Borussia Dortmund form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

Stuttgart Bundesliga form:
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L

Stuttgart form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L

Team News

As previously mentioned, both sides have been dealing with a number of injury problems so far this campaign, and Dortmund will continue to feel the absence of Haaland for at least another month yet.

However, Raphael Guerreiro makes a welcome return to the left wing-back role for this one and he should immediately slot back in after the likes of Thorgan Hazard have been filling in that position with Nico Schulz and Marcel Schmelzer also missing in that area of the pitch.

Hazard could move further forward into a 'false nine' role in place of Donyell Malen, with the Dutchman only managing to find the net once since his summer arrival and struggling to fill the Haaland-shaped hole in attack.

Mateu Morey and Giovanni Reyna are definitely still sidelined, whilst Mahmoud Dahoud, Marius Wolf, Emre Can, Dan-Axel Zagadou and Youssoufa Moukoko remain doubts.

Like their hosts, Stuttgart have also sorely missed their own top goalscorer of last season, with Sasa Kalajdzic remaining on the sidelines until next month with his shoulder injury.

Enzo Millot, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Momo Cisse and Mohamed Sankoh are the other confirmed absentees, whilst Naouirou Ahamada, Chris Fuhrich and Erik Thommy are listed as doubts.

However, Wolfsburg-loanee Omar Marmoush has returned to training and is available for the trip, but the Egyptian forward is likely to have to settle for a place amongst the substitutes.

Florian Muller has returned to fitness and should regain his place in goal from Fabian Bredlow, and will face off against the man he replaced in the summer - Gregor Kobel - who departed for Saturday's opponents Dortmund.

Borussia Dortmund possible starting lineup:
Kobel; Pongracic, Akanji, Hummels; Meunier, Witsel, Bellingham, Guerreiro; Brandt, Reus; Hazard

Stuttgart possible starting lineup:
Muller; Anton, Ito, Kempf; Massimo, Karazor, Endo, Sosa; Mangala; Didavi, Al Ghaddioui

We say: Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Stuttgart

Despite the continued absence of Haaland, Dortmund will be expected to return to winning ways against struggling opposition on Saturday.

Their record at Signal Iduna Park has been exceptional this campaign and this should be extended considering the quality they still possess in their ranks compared to Stuttgart, who will be looking over their shoulders after an expected defeat here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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