Khedira doesn’t want a goal fest against BVB
After almost seven months, FCA will once again be able to play a home game in front of fans on Saturday against Dortmund (26th September, 15:30 CEST). Whilst head coach Heiko Herrlich is expecting a lot from the fans’ return, Rani Khedira is hoping that the game against BVB is less exciting this time.
FCA last held a home game in front of supporters in February in a 3-2 defeat against Borussia Mönchengladbach. Then came the Coronavirus crisis, disruption to the season and finally the restart in May in empty stadiums. Seven months later, Heiko Herrlich’s side can look forward to having the support of around 6,000 fans in the first home game of the season against Borussia Dortmund.
“It was a great experience last week playing in front of fans,” says Herrlich on the 3-1 win on the opening day against 1. FC Union Berlin, which took place with 4,000 fans. The FCA coach is now really looking forward to “being able to play in front of our own fans. There’s always been a special atmosphere. The fans have always given the side great backing and have helped us get special results against better sides.”
Borussia Dortmund are exactly one of those sides, and they’re the visitors on Saturday. “They’re a top European side with tremendous quality,” says Herrlich. “We’ll have to perform at our best if we want to have a chance.” That’s where the fans come into it, according to the 48-year-old. “I hope that the fans push us on on Saturday,” says Herrlich.
Some of the more recent matches between the sides were real spectacles. In October 2019, both sides traded blows as Augsburg lost 4-3, and then FCA lost the meeting in January 5-3 after leading 3-1. “That was an unbelievable game, we were so close to beating them,” says Rani Khedira. “It was really tough to take, but we’ve learnt from the experience.”
The man who made the difference in that game was attacker Erling Haaland, who scored a hat-trick after being substituted on. “He had a huge impact. He had the power and everything of a world-class striker,” says Khedira. “We can only stop him by working together – but Dortmund are more than just Erling Haaland.” The FCA defence have their work cut out on Saturday. Herrlich will have Marco Richter and Noah Sarenren Bazee available in attack after returning from injury, but Eduard Löwen (muscular injury) will be unavailable.
Khedira could do without a goal fest this time. “We’ve had a lot of exciting games against Dortmund, but I don’t need another one,” says the midfielder. “I’d take a 1-0 win. I don’t want a goal fest – I want us to be compact and structured and win that way.”