After Wednesday's 2-1 loss to Mainz 05, Saturday's clash against Borussia Dortmund could come to define the last three months of this season. With Borussia Dortmund just five points back and riding a seven-game winning and 10-match unbeaten streak, this is Borussia Dortmund at it's most potent. From Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's incredible goal scoring ability to the potency of Ilkay Gundogan and Julian Weigl. Also Shinji Kagawa. It's not polite to forget Shinji Kagawa is amazing. Also Marco Reus. More on that to follow.
We spoke to Brian Meyers over at our counterpart site, Fear the Wall, who take us through who Dortmund needs most and what to expect from them.
Ryan: Who's more important, Ilkay Gundogan or Henrik Mkhitaryan? Why?
Brian: That’s a tough one. Personally, I’m going to go with Ilkay, because so much of our game elites on him playing balls through to our attackers. Mkhi is great, but without Ilkay's constant threat, he’s reduced in what he can do. However, I’d say over all Ilkay is only marginally more important the Mkhi. Both are crucial when we play the good teams.
Ryan: Julian Weigl has been the greatest revelation in the Bundesliga this side of Douglas Costa. What does he bring to the table for Dortmund and how has he stabilized this team?
Brian: His passing and vision are absolutely elite. He hasn’t had his overall passing accuracy drop below 90% this season and also registered the most passes ever in a single Bundesliga game earlier this year. Our squad has relied a lot on midfield possession to start attacks this year, and he is the center of that. He usually acts as a pivot and our games can sometimes rest on whether he is having a good game or not. I can't believe this kid is 20.
Ryan: What is Dortmund's biggest weakness?
Brian: Even though it has improved greatly in 2016, our defense is still our Achilles heel. With the amount of possession we usually keep, our back line can be lured into a sense of security too often. Also, our fullbacks play very high up the field which means we can get caught on the break pretty easily.
Ryan: How does one stop Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang? Asking for a friend.
Brian: Give him easy chances, he seems to muff those all the time. It’s the impossible shots you have to watch for.
Ryan: BONUS: Marco Reus is amazing. Please expand.
Brian: Messi who? But seriously this guy is the real deal. Going to be hard to hold onto him this summer, but he has all the makings to be one of the most elite players in the world