Preview for Gladbach – Dortmund: From Borussia With Love

“While she’s squealing with pleasure in the arms of her lover, to infernal regions I’ve been sent to gut hummingbirds…”

— Half Man Half Biscuit, Depressed Beyond Tablets

Hello, Dortmund supporters. I believe we have met on more than one occasion. I am once again condemned to undertake the Damoclean task of previewing your wonderful club, in their upcoming match in the Borussia derby. This, much like the game against Schalke, will be a huge occasion for both sides, a top of the table clash between two teams both with a rich history of success who have of late recompensed for a decade of mediocrity.

Both of these clubs will walk into this match with a decisive win in a local derby under their belt, with Borussia Dortmund having done the old 2-0 to Schalke and Borussia Moenchengladbach holding a public training session against a team of red and white Belisha beacons last week to cap of a stunning run of form. Moenchengladbach’s form has been so good they have received a customary mid-season jinx from Uli Hoeness, who has said that “they could do a Wolfsburg”. This is obviously nonsense, as Wolfsburg were lower midtable at this time last season, and it is therefore more likely of Wolfsburg doing a Wolfsburg than Borussia Moenchengladbach doing a Wolfsburg. Yes, that paragraph was just a cheap excuse to say ‘Wolfsburg’ a gratuitous amount of times, just as it is my personal goal to break this venerable publication’s record for use of the word “Borussia”.

This is, as I have stressed in every preview I have written so far, more than a game. Despite this phrase being constantly devalued courtesy of literary inflation, this game, in all honesty is a big one. It’s Borussia against Borussia, former European cup winner against former Champions League winner, Reus against Gotze, Hanke against Lewandowski, Junter against that… thing… that looks like a giant bumblebee and most importantly, 29 points against 29 points. Yet games are not settled off the pitch or by me, because if they were, Gladbach would be getting out the champagne after another resounding win.

I couldn’t call the lineups at this point, mostly because so much can happen in the semi-ethereal epoch between the time that I write this and the time in which the game is actually played. I can guess that Borussia Dortmund will play a team similar to that of recent weeks, perhaps with the occasional adjustment. As for Borussia Moenchengladbach, it is my assumption that we will also see a similar team to the one they’ve played, though I couldn’t be quite sure as I haven’t payed a mite of attention to any of their games so far, you may crucify me as you will. Anyway, lineups;

In the Dortmund corner, it would be infinitely likely that Weidenfeller starts once again in goal, with a defence consisting of Mats Hairmmels a bloke in a red shirt that you haven’t seen before, with Lukasz Pisczsek

and the drop-dead gorgeous Marcel Schmelzer taking the flanks. The holding midfield will probably made up of former 1860 Munchen lad Moritz Leitner and Schwarzgelben captain Sebastian Kehl. Up the field, Dortmund have a wealth of options, namely, Jakub Blaczykunpronounceable, Mario Goetze, Kevin Grosskreutz, Shinji Kagawa, and Robert Lewandowski, who was utilized in the second striker position against Schalke to great effect. “Lucas” “Barrios” looks likely to play the position of the first striker in Klopp’s trendy 4-2-3-1 formation.

As for Gladbach, I’m going to stick all my bets on the exact same formation as against Koln. The examination of tactical reviews on this fair website tells me that Gladbach will, offensively, absolutely overrun Dortmund, with Dortmund’s centerback pairing being completely incapable of dealing with Arango and Reus’s attacking talent. I think an exciting game can be anticipated, but can it be predicted with 100% certainty? To quote The Romance of The Three Kingdoms (Whyever not?), Read On…

Of course, I’ve been doing this for some time now, and I feel I’ve got the measure of both of my audience, so I think I can say that it is once again that time when I dig into my closet filled with dust, memories, and 16 years of FourFourTwo magazine and excavate either my crystal ball or my glass ball that looks like crystal (I discovered the difference between the authenticity of the two artefacts when one of them predicted Schalke to win the league earlier year) from those dusty depths of overpaid words and laddish shite, and give you a full and comprehensive review that I can only hope contains none of these things.

This match will start as if it was a typical and purely hypothetical American television “period drama” about stewardesses, overhyped, but not coming to much. This section of the match will continue for a similar period of time as these programs, namely 20 minutes. It will be on this mark that the game picks up pace considerably, spurred on by the remarkable attacking talents of Marco Reus, who will pick out Mike Hanke with a lusciously slotted in through ball to the head, a chance that he cannot fail to convert, bashing the lob in to thwart the goalkeeper. Eight minutes later it will be a case of wham-bham thank you Marco, as Marco Reus scores a stunning individual effort from the edge of the box that, though all commentators exclaim that it is a goal that will be remembered for a very long time, will in fact not. Football supporters have incredibly short memories.

The play will explode from then on, a thrilling back and forth affair between the two Borussias, and will continue on in this delightful manner until the halfway point. Substitutions will be like Herman Cain’s response to impending allegations of sexual misconduct (this metaphor NEVER grows old), I. E, not forthcoming. The two teams will retake the pitch for another rich and invigorating 45, sullied two minutes in by an astoundingly blatant foul on Mario Gotze by Havard Nordtveit, who gets off without a card. After the injured Gotze is stretchered off the pitch, the game takes on a more physical quality, beset with niggly fouls on all sides, resulting in 9 yellow cards. In the 72nd minute, the game will be sealed in the favour of the home side when Juan Arango, played nicely into the area by Marco Reus, will convert a sitter in the area to make it 3-0. Tempo will be given a lavish funeral, and the game will wrap up with out much incident. The visiting support will return to their homes, full of misery, resentment, and unfulfilled dreams, much like your poor preview writer does every time his crystal ball is proven wrong and the $100 borrowed on credit goes down the drain on another failed bet. Ladbrokes isn’t called Ladbrokes without good reason.

And that’s it. Time marches on, the two Borussias will get on with their respective seasons, the crystal ball telling me that one of them, I couldn’t say who, (If everyone knew the future, what would be the point of throwing all the money I don’t have at seedy gambling rackets?) fulfils their true potential while the other will meet a tall, dark, and handsome stranger ends up doing a Hoffenheim 2008-09 and finishing seventh after the loss of a crucial player to either injury or a bigger club. Yet whatever happens, it will be enjoyable to watch. Unless my team (whoever that lucky club are) is relegated.


  1. Well, seeing as it looks like Marco Reus will miss the game I think it is readily apparent which crystal ball I used.

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