Borussia Dortmund host Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday afternoon. They will have to do without right-back Lukasz Piszczek.
Once again Lucien Favre is forced to make changes to his backline. While Manuel Akanji recovered in time from an ankle injury, fullbacks Nico Schulz (partly torn tarsal ligament) and Piszczek are sidelined. The 34-year-old felt muscular problems in BVB’s final team training.
Fans who hoped that would bring Marcel Schmelzer into the starting line-up erred, as Raphael Guerreiro starts as left-back — a risky approach from the otherwise conservative Favre, who picked Thomas Delaney over Julian Weigl to start next to Witsel.
The Portuguese, who is about to extend his current deal until 2023, will have a lot of defensive work to do as 44% of Leverkusen’s attack have come down his left side so far this season according to Whoscored.
Meanwhile, Hakimi gets a start at right-back where won’t be able to dribble toward the inside but with Julian Brandt starting on the wing, it may be better for him to provide width.