It has already been a few weeks since the Borussia Dortmund women’s handballers last won a Bundesliga match. The Black & Yellows beat Sport-Union Neckarsulm at home exactly one month ago. Such a drought is unusual for Henk Groener’s charges and they will be aiming to get back to winning ways when they take on Buxtehuder SV on Wednesday evening (19:30 CET).
The victory over Neckarsulm has been followed by a European League game, two Bundesliga losses and an international break. With the teams directly below them diligently picking up points, the cushion over fourth place in the table has narrowed to four points after the two defeats at home to HSG Bensheim/Auerbach and away to VfL Oldenburg.
When the whistle for throw-off sounds at Sporthalle Wellinghofen at 19:30 CET on Wednesday, BVB will be facing a tough task. Buxtehuder SV narrowly won 31-30 when the two teams met in the reverse fixture at the end of October. The Black & Yellow defenders played below their level that day – as they also did in Oldenburg on Sunday according to Henk Groener. “We gave the opposition far too much space each time. Now against Oldenburg, we didn’t stop the movements and didn’t act aggressively enough. When we did do that at one point, we were right back in the game and even went in front.”
He was quick to add that it was not down to the attitude of his players. “Everyone put their foot on the gas and completely went for it. We were unfortunately too harmless offensively, only Harma van Kreij really got into the gaps consistently. That certainly needs to be better on Wednesday,” said Groener, who is currently unsure which players he will have available. In Alina Grijseels, Lisa Antl and Zoe Springers, three key performers were missing against Oldenburg. Their involvement is also in doubt for the Buxtehude match.
The opposition also have personnel problems but boast a lot of quality. The players to watch for the visitors are Isabelle Dölle, who is the top scorer in the BSV ranks with 86 goals so far, and pivot Maxi Mühlner, who has played herself into the German national team set-up with a series of strong performances. Marie Andresen has also stood out. She has made the third-most saves of any keeper in the league, with 161.
BVB boss Groener is wary of the flexible defensive tactics deployed by the side in sixth spot. “We did not find the right means to deal with their 5-1 defence in the reverse fixture. We’ll prepare for that intensively but will then also need to implement it accordingly,” the Dutchman said.
Anyone wanting to attend the match can purchase tickets via the Online Ticket Shop. The game will also be broadcast free of charge via Sportdeutschland.TV.