Borussia Dortmund vs FC Nürnberg Preview: Classic Encounter, Key Battles, Team News & More

After a disappointing campaign last season – which saw Dortmund finish in fourth place in the Bundesliga, their lowest position since the 14/15 season – Lucian Favre’s side are currently unbeaten after four games in the league. 

Their opponents, FC Nürnberg have beaten Dortmund just once in 18 meetings between the two clubs. However, the Bavarian club have started this season steadily, as they go into this game in eighth position having lost just once. 

Dortmund will be hoping they can continue in their good vein of form at home, which has so far seen them beat RB Leipzig 4-1 and Eintracht 3-1, to maintain the pressure on league leaders and reigning champions Bayern Munich.

Classic Encounter

FC Nürnberg 2-3 Borussia Dortmund (2009/10 Bundesliga)

Back in April 2010, these two sides put on a five-goal thriller, making it the most exciting encounter between Dortmund and Nürnberg to date. Starting for the home side in this game was soon-to-be Dortmund player Ilkay Gündogan. 

Lucas Barrios started off the scoring for the away side with a close range header, putting Dortmund into an expected lead. However, Nürnberg struck back just four minutes later, as Mike Frantz hit a left-footed strike into the bottom corner to give the Bavarian side a shock equaliser. 

The game exploded into life in the second half, as Lucas Barrios got his and Dortmund’s second goal having been played in by Turkish playmaker Nuri Sahin. In the 78th minute, Barrios seemed to have put the game beyond Nürnberg’s reach as he bagged his hat-trick with another clinical finish. 

However, in the 84th minute the Bavarian side rallied for a final push as they pulled a goal back through Christian Eigler. Unfortunately for the hosts, they couldn’t make this final pressure count and they succumbed to yet another loss at the hands of Borussia Dortmund. 

Team News

Borussia Dortmund go into this Bundesliga clash with almost a full compliment of players. However, with Ömer Toprak out (muscle fibre) and Abdou Diallo suspended after his red card against Hoffenheim on Saturday, Favre has a bit of a selection headache at centre-back. 19-year-old Dan-Axel Zagadou is in line to receive his first league appearance of the season. 

FC Nürnberg similarly have very few injury concerns, with only Edgar Salli (infection) and Dennis Lippert (cruciate ligament rupture) set to miss out. However, both Salli and Lippert are predominantly fringe players for Nürnberg so it is not a major concern for their manager Michael Köllner. 

Predicted Lineups

Borussia Dortmund: Bürki, Piszczek, Akanji, Zagadou, Schmelzer, Witsel, Dahoud, Pulisic, Kagawa, Reus, Philipp

FC Nürnberg: Bredlow, Valentini, Margreitter, Mühl, Leibold, Fuchs, Petrák, Behrens, Misidjan, Ishak, Kubo

Key Battle

Marco Reus vs. Enrico Valentini

Having been plagued with injuries throughout his career, Marco Reus has started the 18/19 Bundesliga season fit and firing – much to the relief of his manager Lucien Favre. The German winger has played every single minute of the four league matches thus far, recording one goal and two assists. 

Reus is the jewel in Borussia Dortmund’s crown and the success of the German club often relies heavily upon the number 11’s form and fitness. When in full flow, the pace and directness of the German’s game can cause problems for any team. His ability to shoot with either foot and his eye for a pass will mean that Nürnberg will have to keep close tabs on Marco Reus. 

The player tasked with keeping Reus quiet is Nürnberg’s right-back, Enrico Valentini. Having conceded in every game bar one this season, Michael Köllner’s team have struggled defensively since their promotion from 2. Bundesliga. 

Valentini will have to make sure he finds the right mix between not allowing Reus too much space and not getting too tight to him, as the German has the ability to spin away from close marking in an instant. However, Nürnberg’s right-back will be also be relying on help from Alexander Fuchs from midfield, as well as centre-back Margreitter in order to team up on Reus. 

The team from Bavaria will stand a much greater chance of achieving a historical result against Borussia Dortmund, if they can nullify the threat of Marco Reus. 


Whilst Nürnberg have started the season extremely well, considering they are a newly promoted side, Dortmund are likely going to win this game. 

Dortmund’s superior team and their excellent home record so far this season makes them strong favourites to reign victorious this matchup, and to win convincingly. Cementing this position further is the one-sided history between these clubs in which Dortmund have only lost once. 

The glimmer of hope for Nürnberg is that Dortmund are without both Toprak and Diallo, meaning that the young and inexperienced Zagadou will likely be starting. Köllner will be hoping that his side can cause the youngster some problems and, if they can get a 1-0 lead, that would give them something to hold onto. 

Predicted Scoreline: Borussia Dortmund 3-0 FC Nürnberg