(AFP) – Sep 8, 2011
BERLIN — Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp expects his side to cope without banned Germany star Mario Goetze when the Bundesliga champions host Hertha Berlin on Saturday.
Goetze was shown a red card for retaliation in Dortmund's goalless draw with fellow Champions League side Bayer Leverkusen a fortnight ago and is banned for the next two German league games.
The most obvious candidate to replace Goetze at the heart of Dortmund's midfield is Poland captain Jakub Blaszczykowski -- known as Kuba for short -- who scored in the 2-2 draw with Germany on Tuesday in a friendly in Gdansk.
"Fortunately, I do not need to make many changes," said Klopp, with Japan's Shinji Kagawa and Germany's Kevin Grosskreutz set to lead the midfield.
Dortmund host Premier League side Arsenal in their opening Champions League group match next Tuesday, when Goetze will be available again, and Klopp expects to have a full squad to select from.
Even midfielder Sven Bender, who withdrew from the Germany squad last week with an ankle injury, is expected to be fit.
But Klopp says Dortmund face an Arsenal side still hurting after a poor start to the Premier League season that sees them without a win after three games ahead of Saturday's visit of new boys Swansea.
"We will meet a self-confident opponent, who feels back on track," warned Klopp.
After two wins, a draw and a defeat from their opening four games, defending champions Dortmund are sixth in the Bundesliga behind leaders Bayern and Klopp says his side must raise their game against Berlin.
"It is necessary that we get stuck into the season, but we are well on the way," he said. "I expect a very lively performance."
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