German Cup: Lucien Favre needs finishers against high-flying Foals | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 29.10.2019
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German Cup: Lucien Favre needs finishers against high-flying Foals

Dortmund haven't found the net in 200 minutes but their last goal was against Gladbach. In the continued absence of Paco Alcacer, coach Lucien Favre needs others to find their range as the Foals come to town again.

As bitter as Marco Reus' matchwinner against Borussia Mönchengladbach was less than two weeks ago, it may prove to be a pill worth swallowing for Marco Rose and his side.

"Of course, the Bundesliga game against them has helped in our preparation for the match," said the Gladbach coach ahead of Wednesday's second round German Cup tie at the Westfalenstadion. "We lost 1-0 but we didn't play badly. In the match tomorrow we need to believe that we can win right up until the final whistle."

Since Dortmund beat the table-toppers on October 19 they've failed to score against Inter Milan and Schalke. More than that, they've rarely looked like creating much, with the absence of their only genuine number nine Paco Alcacer being keenly felt.

Favre feeling the heat

Lucien Favre has taken plenty of flak for the stuttering form that has seen BVB win just two matches (against Gladbach and Slavia Prague) since the middle of September and cast doubt on their ability to make the Champions League knockouts and a take a sustained tilt at the Bundesliga title. 

Marco Reus scored the winner last time the sides met (Getty Images/Bongarts/D. Mouhtaropoulos)

Marco Reus scored the winner last time the sides met

In that light, an early exit from the German Cup ahead of a home game with unbeaten Wolfsburg and the crunch rematch with Inter would surely cast serious doubts on the future of the former Gladbach boss. But the Swiss tactician reckons he's found a solution.

"We need to be quicker and to play with only one touch much more frequently to avoid the opponent's press. We need to make progress in that respect," he said at his pre-match press conference. "And we need to improve our finishing too." 

In the absence of Alcacer, and with new signings Julian Brandt and Thorgan Hazard having mustered a single goal between them in over 1400 minutes for BVB, the load on Reus is even heavier than usual.

Favre at least has the option of Mario Götze, who will be able to play some part on Wednesday despite breaking a bone in his arm in the stalemate against Schalke. Roman Bürki is also in contention to feature as he continues his recovery from illness but Matthias Ginter, Breel Embolo, Raffael and Alassane Plea are all out for the visitors.

Foals in form

But in Marcus Thuram, Gladbach have a striker on a hot streak. In contrast to Brandt and Hazard, the Foals' summer signing has hit form after a slow start, with an effort in the 4-2 win over Frankfurt on Sunday making it four goals and two assists in his last five league games.

He's not the only one of Rose's charges in form. Midfielder Denis Zakaria is reportedly drawing admiring glances from some top Premier League clubs after a series of dominant displays and the Swiss international says spirits are high.

"We are in a good mood," the 22-year-old told the club's website. "In the DFB-Pokal, of course, we want to get through to the next round, so we will give our all in this game. In the end, we’ll have to see if it’s enough. It will be incredibly difficult for us."

It may always be tricky to travel to take on Dortmund, but now seems as good a time as any.

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