Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Borussia Dortmund v Hertha Berlin: Tuchel puts perfect record on the line

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 28 Aug 2015

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Borussia Dortmund have made a perfect start under Thomas Tuchel and he will seek to make it eight wins from eight when Hertha Berlin visit on Sunday. 

Tuchel has overseen a run of seven consecutive victories in which Dortmund have scored 27 goals, with Thursday’s 7-2 UEFA Europa League qualifier triumph over Odd underlining their threat.

That result, which secured an 11-5 aggregate success, earned Dortmund a place in the group phase and they were handed a favourable draw, pitted against PAOK, Krasnodar and Gabala.

But for a club of such pedigree, an improved performance in the Bundesliga will be expected this season, after they required a strong end to the 2014-15 campaign in order to reach seventh.

The early signs are promising, with Dortmund sitting top of the embryonic table, winning 4-0 at home to Borussia Monchengladbach and dishing out a repeat dose on the road at newly promoted Ingolstadt last weekend.

Such form might make for ominous reading as far as Hertha are concerned, but a win at Signal Iduna Park would take Pal Dardai’s side above Dortmund, who they beat on home soil last term.

Marco Reus sounded a warning to Hertha and the rest of the division by suggesting there was still more to come from Tuchel’s men.

“We’re now well prepared for our Bundesliga game against Hertha on Sunday,” he said after scoring a hat-trick against Odd. 

“We’ve found good ways of working together. We haven’t reached our full potential yet, but we’re on our way there.” 

Those were sentiments echoed by Ilkay Gundogan, who added: “Everything is going well at the moment; therefore we are scoring lots of goals. I hope that we can continue like this for a long time.”

The strong start has come amid some injury woes at right-back, where Matthias Ginter – called up to the Germany squad next month’s double-header of Euro 2016 qualifiers – has filled in admirably, scoring from that position at Ingolstadt despite usually being a centre-back.

Regular right-back Lukasz Piszczek came off the bench against Odd following a hip injury, while centre-half Sokratis Papastathopoulos marked his return in the same game after an ankle problem.

One man who will not feature is Kevin Kampl following his switch to Bayer Leverkusen on Friday.

Hertha are boosted by Roy Beerens’ return from suspension, the winger having been sent off during the opening-day win at Augsburg in which Salomon Kalou netted the winner from the penalty spot.

Dardai’s men followed that with a 1-1 draw at home to Werder Bremen to sit seventh after two matches.

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