Preview: DFL-Supercup against Borussia Dortmund
Hello Stefan, you played an outstanding season last year but the team has to cope with the departure of Gündogan, Mkhitaryan and Hummels. Is it possible to compensate all three of them without a lack of quality and are there any hints of Thomas Tuchel’s approach so far?
It is certainly impossible to replace such good players completely, definitely not as Borussia Dortmund with the given capabilities. 100M Euros were spend to make the squad deeper and hopefully this kind of quality will arise over the next few years again.
Marc Bartra is the transfer that could work as an instant replacement. He is 25 years old and his abilities regarding the build-up play are similar to Mats Hummels. He is also a bit faster than our previous captain, but it will be questionable whether his presence as well as his assertiveness is on the same level. With him, Sebastian Rode and Mario Götze we gained players with a lot of potential who struggled to establish themselves at the truly biggest clubs. Maybe it is possible for them to take the next step and reach international class with increased playing time.
Thomas Tuchel did not make big chances in comparison to the previous season. Formationwise he stuck to the 3-2-4-1, 4-1-4-1 or the 4-3-3. Considering the fact that a lot of new players need to be integrated into the squad, it makes no sense at all to additionally change existing procedures.
The strong points of BVB were mainly in the attack last season. As a consequence you conceded too many goals. Are you agreeing with this statement and where are the strengths allocated this time?
In some preseason games the team played recklessly in defence. There are obviously big problems handing over opposing players to other teammates. It will be a matter of time, which we do not really have at this point.
Julian Weigl might be a stabilizing factor when he returns completely. The principle of preventing opposing chances by avoiding turnovers should sound familiar to Bayern fans. He has to take a lot of responsibility and will be crucial for our team in general.
So far it is quite hard to project our strengths and weaknesses to the fullest. The first thing that comes to mind is propably our attacking speed. Players like Pierre-Emerich Aubameyang, Marco Reus, Ousmane Dembélé, Christian Pulisic and André Schürrle speak for themselves. Despite the departure of Mkhitaryan we managed to improve in one-on-one duels due to the arrivals of Götze, Mor and Dembélé. Especially Pulisic is evidently ready to take the next big step in his career.
Apart from that BVB will most likely look the same in the upcoming season. The team is still vulnerable against strong pressing opponents as well as in defending set-pieces. Particularly at the beginning the weaknesses might be more visible.
Mario Götze and Sebastian Rode changed clubs from Munich to Dortmund. How would you judge both transfers and how much of a part are they able to play?
For me, Mario Götze is our main transfer of the summer. Due to the departures of Gündogan and Mhkitaryan we were lacking creativity. Götze and Tuchel both agreed that his best position is in centre-midfield. Hopefully he will be able to reach his full potential and be a solid factor in this position.
If Sebastian Rode can fulfil an important role as well remains to be seen. He already showed that he is able to help the team a lot in preseason. After the 4-3 loss in Liverpool last season, people called for a plus of physicality in the BVB midfield. Whether this was the case or not remains undecided. Nevertheless Rode brings that kind of physicality to the table and is in addition to that far better in technical aspects than Sven Bender, who is a physical player as well. Overall he will for sure get a lot more playing time than Pep Guardiola allowed last season.
The Supercup is not really a prestigious event. Let’s talk about it anyway – how are your expectation for your team, performancewise?
A bold glimpse into the future tells me that we will try a more defensive approach. Rode, Weigl and Castro might be starting in midfield to do so. Up front there will be Schürrle, Götze, Pulisic and Aubameyang utilizing their crazy sprinting abilities.
Nevertheless a serious prediction at this point is impossible.
How do you value the matchup vs. Bayern and what kind of game are you expecting?
Firstly it will hugely benefit the commercialization of the Bundesliga, simply because the game itself should be exciting. There might be some entertaining action right before the start of the season. The weaknesses of one team is likely to be revealed ruthlessly by the other and vice versa. Unfortunately I am afraid that our lack of defensive stability might cause some huge problems.
However we should not take it too seriously, although a high defeat may have negative effects on our confidence. This should be the case the other way round as well, but after our recent friendlies it is quite hard to imagine a win on Sunday.
That sounds like there is still a lot of room for improvement at Borussia Dortmund. Is it possible to compete for the Bundesliga this season or have there been to many changes overall?
The only real threat for Bayern is Bayern. If they are able to keep up the consistency of the previous seasons I cannot imagine that a Bundesliga team can reach up to their level.
I do not believe that the 78 points we accomplished last season are repeatable. Especially the burden of playing in the Champions League is a special challenge. In my mind I foresee some unnecessary loss of points in the Bundesliga already.
No team has won the German Supercup more often than Borussia Dortmund. On Sunday they are able to extend their lead.
The DFL-Supercup is played at the start of the new season since 2010. It is a matchup between the current Bundesliga champion and the DFB-Pokal winner. If there is a Double-Winner like this year, the runner-up of the Bundeliga takes the place to compete for the Supercup. Its reputation in Germany is not very high at all. In the past there were different varieties of the Supercup under the names of “DFB-Supercup” (1987-1992) and Panasonic-Supercup (1992-1996). From 1997 on the final was replaced by the Ligapokal, a small tournament. After ten years this kind of preseasonal event was abolished as well. Three years later the original Supercup was re-established in the manner it is still player until this day. One of its characteristics is that there is no overtime. If both teams are drawing after 90 minutes, a penalty shootout has to decide. Since 2011 the DFB-Pokal Champion or the Bundesliga runner-up has the home-field advantage.
Like we already mentioned, Borussia Dortmund (5 titles), is the record champion of the German Supercup. Bayern Munich (4), Werder Bremen (3), Kaiserslautern, Schalke Stuttgart and Wolfsburg (1) take the following places in this ranking. If Bayern manages to win the title for a fifth time, they will be at the top of this statistic as well. Although it is officially the first match of the season, the Supercup provides an opportunity to test specific tactics or players for a last time before it really counts. This opportunity in general is much more important for the teams than the cup itself, which makes the event interesting for neutral observers as well.
To summarize the two dominating teams of the previous seasons will face each other on Sunday. Just like Stefan told us the BVB has not changed drastically regarding his tactics. Tuchel counts on his proven playing philosophy and is trying to integrate the arrivals as good as possible. In the last games against Bayern he relied on a three at the back formation, which changed into a five at the back formation against the ball. This might be an option again on Sunday. Pep Guardiola usually found the perfect recipe to counter this approach, but how is Carlo Ancelotti going to adjust the team?
Therefore the game will be exciting to watch. We will be able to see how the Italian proves himself against our biggest rival although we are still at the start of the new season. We are expecting that Ancelotti chooses to attack aggressively because of the weak spots shown by Borussia Dortmund in the preseason. A high and compact pressing approach will be the key to success. Anyhow it will be important to keep an eye on the dangerous speeding attacks of the BVB strikeforce.
The value of the cup might be unimportant at first sight, but the matchup in general is just pure class. How good is the BVBteam after the many transfers? Which changes can be recognized in our style of play? How much possession does Ancelotti grant to Borussia Dortmund? All these questions might be answered already on Sunday.
Furthermore it is Ancelotti’s first and last chance to test out the Bavarian internationals who returned after the US-tour. Only five day later the DFB-Pokal is starting again. Considering this aspect, players like Neuer, Lewandowski, Müller and Hummels should be in the starting XI. Additionly there are still some uncertainties in the squad. For example Franck Ribéry, who made the journey to Dortmund, but is still questionable due to his injuries.
- Borussia Dortmund 2-0 FC Bayern München (2014, Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund)
- Borussia Dortmund 4-2 FC Bayern München (2013, Signal iduna Park, Dortmund)
- FC Bayern München 2-1 Borussia Dortmund (2012, Allianz Arena, Munich)
- FC Bayern München 3-4 Borussia Dortmund (1989, Fritz-Walter-Stadion, Kaiserslautern)
- Borussia Dortmund is Supercup record champion (five titles: 1989, 1995, 1996, 2013, 2014).They only lost two times (2011 – Schalke 04, 2012 – FC Bayern Munich) while competing eight times in total.
- This year it is going to be Bayern’s tenth participation. They already lost five times against Borussia Dortmund (1989, 2013, 2014), Werder Bremen (1994) and VfL Wolfsburg (2015). The team succeeded in 1987 (Hamburger SV), 1990 (1. FC Kaiserslautern), 2010 (Schalke 04) and in 2012 (Borussia Dortmund).
- Bayern Munich managed to win the first Supercup final ever in 1987 against Hamburger SV 2-1.
- Players with most appearances in the Supercup are: Philipp Lahm, Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Müller, Oliver Reck and Mirko Votava (five times).
- The top goalscorer of the competition is Wynton Rufer (4 goals). Runner-ups: Arjen Robben, Jürgen Wegmann (both 3), Günter Breitzke, Jürgen Degen, Thomas Müller, Marco Reus (each 2)
- Sebastian Rode, Mario Götze and Mats Hummels are likely to play their first official match for their new club against their previous one.
- Coach with most Supercup appearances: Otto Rehhagel (six times). Runner-ups: Jupp Heynckes, Jürgen Klopp (both 4), Pep Guardiola (3).
- In 1941 there has been some kind of unofficial Supercup. Under the name of “Herausforderungskampf” (call-out fight)tThe Tschammer-Pokal champion Dresdner SC played against Schalke 04 and won 4-2. Further unofficial Supercups: 1977 (Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-2 Hamburger SV), 1983 (Hamburger SV 2-4 on penalties FC Bayern Munich), 2008 (FC Bayern Munich 1-2 Borussia Dortmund), 2009 (VfL Wolfsburg 1-2 Werder Bremen)
- There will be at least three goals scored.
- FC Bayern Munich will win the Supercup 2016.
- Borussia Dortmund will score.
- Bayern Munich will have less than 60% possession.
- One former Bayern or Dortmund player (Hummels, Rode, Götze) will score for their new club.