Borussia Dortmund and FC Zürich have never met in a competitive match, but with both sides taking part in next season’s Champions League, that fact could be soon eradicated. Thus, as well as continuing the sides’ preparations for the campaigns ahead, this Saturday teatime pre-season friendly – staged as part of the annual Uhrencup – is the perfect opportunity for each club to unearth some potentially useful information on an unfamiliar opponent.
There is undoubtedly a big gulf in class between the two teams, as while runaway German Bundesliga winners BVB are assured of their place in the group stage of next season’s Champions League, Swiss runners-up Zürich – who finished one point behind Basel – have the tricky task of negotiating the qualifying stages. Nevertheless, with their new domestic season commencing next weekend, Zürich come into this game at the 15,000-seater Stadion Brühl in Grenchen, Switzerland, at a more advanced stage of preparation than Dortmund, and perhaps psychologically boosted by the fact 2010/11s key trio of Admir Mehmedi, Amine Chermiti and Dušan Ðurić are still at the club.
Meanwhile, despite losing star man Nuri Şahin, Jurgen Klopp has managed to keep most of his title-winning squad together, and another summer of training with the same players will ensure that Dortmund can battle on two fronts next season. This friendly is an ideal test for the second-best supported side in Europe at this time, as they’re still 27 days away from their season-opener versus Hamburg, and need to bed in several new players, and stars such as Shinji Kagawa who are still continuing their recovery from lengthy spells out injured.