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Dortmund vs. Apoel Nicosia pt. 2, Pulisic probably on the bench

Friends, I have some disappointing news: Christian Pulisic probably won't start today in Dortmund's home Champions League match vs. Cypriot bantamweights Apoel Nicosia. Why do I think this? Simple: because Here Bosz has been rotating the forwards, much to the chagrin of Pulisic fans and sane people all over the world. The thing is, Yarmolenko and Philipp have been scoring goals. But other than that, they haven't been doing much. They haven't been playing defense and I would argue that their intangibles, like passion, have been far inferior to Pulisic's. The problem with Bosz's constant rotation, and not just of the wingers but also with pretty much everyone else, is that a regular starting 11 can't gel, can't get comfortable playing together.

Now, MUCH has been said about the causes of BVB's October woes, and I'll quickly give my two cents. One, it's not having a regular starting 11. Two, and this may be the MOST IMPORTANT ONE OF ALL, it's BVB's lack of a clear leader. Who is the leader? Schmelzer? Nuri Sahin, who barely plays? Bürki? Götze? Sokratis? You'd be tempted to say Schmelzer, because he's the captain and also because you're a fool. But he doesn't lead the team when he's on the field. You don't FEEL his presence. Sokratis, I would say, is the closest thing to a leader, but he's not the consummate leader the team needs. Could Pulisic be that leader? Absolutely. But not right now, because everything thinks he's too young and too new. And at least for the next year or so, that might just be true.

Finally, the third problem is Bosz's tactics. In the game against Hannover last Saturday the announcers were doing everything but directly belittling what they called his "naivety." Hannover is just playing straightforward balls up the middle, they were saying, and these balls were beating Dortmund. Does Bosz truly not see this? Do Dutch people see the world differently? Does the fact that the Dutch language, when spoken, sounds like a horse choking on a length of barbed wire somehow affect his brain?

 I asked the other day if the match against Hannover would show an adaption in tactics or if it would be more of the same. We all know the answer to that. Let's hope the answer in today's match against Apoel is something different.

Predicted lineups:

Apoel Nicosia: A bunch of dudes from Cyprus (and some who aren't)

Borussia Dortmund: Not Pulisic (Do the rest really matter?)

Predicted score:  -1 to -2, advantage Dortmund


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