Friday, January 24, 2014

Borussia Dortmund-Augsburg Preview: BVB hope to kick-start campaign

Augsburg's Ji Dong-Won.

The curious case of Ji Dong-Won takes another twist on Saturday as he looks set to line up for his new employer against his future club.

The South Korea international joined Augsburg on a short-term loan deal from Sunderland on January 16, before it was then confirmed that he will be joining Borussia Dortmund on a free transfer at the end of the season.

The sequence of events places the 22-year-old in the tricky situation of trying to impress new boss Markus Weinzierl, while not making himself any enemies in the Schwarzgelben camp when the two sides go head-to-head at Signal Iduna Park this weekend.

BVB coach Jurgen Klopp will certainly be hoping Ji does not get off to a flying start for his temporary club, having seen his charges go on a three-match winless run before the mid-season break.

The 2012-13 Champions League and Bundesliga runners-up have tried to build some momentum over the past fortnight by playing four friendlies - three against lower-league opposition - and coming away with victory in each of them.

Klopp's men currently sit fourth in the league, 12 points adrift of leaders Bayern Munich, who also have a game in hand.

That deficit may be seem insurmountable without a catastrophic Bayern collapse, but Dortmund will be keen not to fall further behind Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach, who currently occupy the other two automatic Champions League qualification spots.

And they will feel confident heading into their first competitive game of 2014, having not lost to Augsburg in any of their last five meetings.

But the visitors - currently eighth in the top flight - have been in a rich vein of form of late, only losing one of their last seven league fixtures - a 3-0 defeat to leaders Bayern in November.

Klopp will be boosted by the news that Mats Hummels has returned to fitness and should be in line for a recall, while Ilkay Gundogan is also on the road to recovery.

Borussia Dortmund-Augsburg Preview: BVB hope to kick-start campaign Rating: 4.5 Posted by: Unknown


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