Dortmund Coach Demands Response After Leipzig Rout

Dortmund’s Norwegian forward Erling Braut Haaland (R) and Dortmund’s Swiss defender Manuel Akanji react after Leipzig’s 2-0 goal during the German first division Bundesliga football match Borussia Dortmund v RB Leipzig in Dortmund, western Germany, on April 2, 2022. (Photo by Ina Fassbender / AFP)

 

Borussia Dortmund coach Marco Rose has demanded an improved performance from his team at Stuttgart on Friday to make amends for their drubbing at home to RB Leipzig.

Second-placed Dortmund trail league leaders Bayern Munich by nine points in the Bundesliga with six games remaining, having been hammered 4-1 by Leipzig last weekend.

“We have some catching up to do,” Rose admitted ahead of Friday’s game at strugglers Stuttgart.

Dortmund striker Erling Haaland will seek to end a run of four games without a goal, although he has been carrying an ankle knock and limited to two starts in that time.

England midfielder Jude Bellingham should also be fit again after recovering from deep bruising.

Dortmund have failed to impress in recent weeks, labouring to narrow wins over Arminia Bielelfeld and Mainz before being held to a 1-1 draw at Cologne.

They had few answers last Saturday when Leipzig played them off the park as French forward Christopher Nkunku grabbed a goal and three assists.

Since being knocked out of the Europa League by Rangers in February, Rose admits there has been unrest in his Dortmund team.

“We are fighting with ourselves in our heads,” he said.

“Things keep happening this season that we should avoid.

“We make too many mistakes, which lead to easy goals.”

Stuttgart are battling relegation and are a point above the bottom three.

The hosts are missing striker Sasa Kalajdzic after he tested positive for Covid. The Austrian converted a penalty in last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Bielefeld.

AFP

Haaland Poised To Return From Injury For Dortmund

Dortmund’s Norwegian forward Erling Braut Haaland and Dortmund’s US midfielder Giovanni Reyna (L) warm up before the German first division Bundesliga football match Borussia Dortmund v Arminia Bielefeld in Dortmund, western Germany, on March 13, 2022. (Photo by Ina FASSBENDER / AFP)

 

Dortmund head coach Marco Rose says in-demand forward Erling Haaland could make his long-awaited return from injury in the Bundesliga this Sunday.

The 21-year-old Norwegian, who has bagged 16 goals in 14 league games this season, could be an option in the home match against Bielefeld having been sidelined by an adductor injury since January.

“He is in team training and is an option,” Rose said.

The Dortmund coach said Haaland is only likely to make a cameo off the bench, as “he has been out for a month. It would be a brief appearance, not longer.

“He is happy to be pain-free again. He’s doing very well,” Rose said of Haaland, who last played away to Hoffenheim on January 22.

There is persistent speculation that Haaland could leave Dortmund at the end of the season for a big European club, with Real Madrid, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain all reportedly interested.

An outbreak of Covid in the Bielefeld squad means it is uncertain Sunday’s game will take place.

“No final decision has been made yet, but we assume that we will play,” added Rose, who himself will be without Covid cases Mats Hummels and Raphael Guerreiro.

Rose has a lengthy injury list with Manuel Akanji, Thomas Meunier, Youssoufa Moukoko, Dan-Axel Zagadou and Steffen Tigges all sidelined, while club captain Marco Reus is ill.

Rose revealed that US teenager Giovanni Reyna, who has been dogged by injury this season, “has also been back in team training for a week now and is also an option”.

Dortmund start the weekend second in the table and nine points behind runaway Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich, but with a game in hand.

AFP