International Sport > German Football > DORTMUND REJECT 'BAYERN HUNTERS' TAG

DORTMUND REJECT 'BAYERN HUNTERS' TAG

Borussia Dortmund have rejected their tag as Bayern Munich’s closest challengers, or “Bayern Hunters”, ahead of Sunday’s game against RB Leipzig on the opening weekend of the Bundesliga season.

“We do not use the term ‘Bayern hunters’. We want to make the most out of our possibilities,” said Dortmund’s director of sport Michael Zorc.

“We have a new start and that takes time.

“It doesn’t matter to us where Bayern are in the table.”

Bayern romped to a 3-1 win at home to Hoffenheim on Friday as they started their quest for a seventh straight German league title.

Dortmund were the last team to deny them the Bundesliga title back in 2011-12 when Borussia, under then coach Jurgen Klopp, won the second of back-to-back titles and fans hope they will some resistance this season.

The German media tag any club who look capable of breaking the Bavarians’ iron-grip on the league title as “Bayern Hunters”.

RB Leipzig, the last team to offer Bayern a serious challenge in 2016/17, will need to fight off fatigue at Dortmund on Sunday when Axel Witsel is poised to make his German league debut.

Ralf Rangnick’s squad has already played six games in 2018/19 including three rounds of Europa League qualifiers, the last of which was on Thursday in a goalless first-leg draw at Ukraine side Zorya Luhansk.

Dortmund were the busiest of Bayern’s rivals, in terms of recruitment, in the off-season.

They splashed out 72 million euros ($83.75 million) to recruit Mainz’s France Under-21 defender Abdou Diallo, Werder Bremen’s Danish midfielder Thomas Delaney, Witsel from Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian and Eintracht Frankfurt winger Marius Wolf.

Witsel came off the bench to equalise in Monday’s 2-1 comeback German Cup win at Guerther Fuerth and will feature at some point against Leipzig, but may not start.

“He hasn’t played a lot recently and we don’t know if he is already ready for 90 minutes,” said Dortmund coach Lucien Favre.

Favre revealed Roman Burki has won his battle to retain the Number One shirt, seeing off fellow Swiss international goalkeeper Marwin Hitz, who joined from Mainz on a free transfer.

Germany fans will be hoping Dortmund’s captain Marco Reus clicks with Mario Goetze while Leipzig striker Timo Werner will be looking to add to the 13 league goals and eight assists he provided last season.

AFP
 
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