Preview: Borussia Dortmund vs. Werder Bremen

Mario Goetze
© PA Photos
Borussia Dortmund begin the defence of their Bundesliga title on Friday. Here, Sports Mole previews their encounter against Werder Bremen at the Westfalenstadion.

Borussia Dortmund head into the new Bundesliga season with the pressure of being favourites to win the title for a third consecutive season.

Up first on Friday night is the visit of Werder Bremen, a side that finished ninth during the last campaign.

The hosts will be without Japanese international Shinji Kagawa, who joined Manchester United earlier this summer. His replacement, German international Marco Reus, is expected to take on the attacking midfield role for this encounter.

Mario Gotze has also been tipped to win his fitness battle for the champions. However, holding midfielder Sven Bender will play no part because of a hernia complaint.

Coach Jurgen Klopp will have to choose between Sebastian Kehl or Ilkay Gundogan to fill the void left by Bender.

Like Dortmund, Bremen also lost a key player to the Premier League recently when Marko Marin switched to Chelsea. His place in the squad has been taken by Eljero Elia, who joined from Italian champions Juventus.

Chelsea loanee Kevin De Bruyne is also expected to start on the right wing for the away side.

Dortmund lost just once at home all last season, while Bremen could only manage three victories on the road.

Possible lineups:

Dortmund: Weidenfeller; Piszczek, Hummels, Subotic, Schmelzer; Kehl; Błaszczykowski, Grosskreutz, Gotze, Reus; Lewandowski

Bremen: Mielitz; Prodl, Fritz, Papastathopoulos, Gebre Selassie; De Bruyne, Kroos, Ignjovski, Hunt, Elia; Arnautovic

Sports Mole says: 2-0

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Bayern Munich31263274146081
2Borussia DortmundDortmund31235375304574
3Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen31166950351554
4Hertha Berlin31147104038249
5Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach311531362481448
6Mainz 0531136124341245
7Schalke 04Schalke31136124346-345
8FC Koln321011113640-441
9FC Ingolstadt 04FC Ingolstadt 04311010112935-640
10Wolfsburg31109124243-139
11Hamburger SV31107143744-737
12Augsburg32910134048-837
13SV Darmstadt 9831811123548-1335
14Hoffenheim31810133648-1234
15Stuttgart3196164663-1733
16Werder Bremen3187164363-2031
17Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt3179153150-1930
18Hannover3164212856-2822