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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