Kai Havertz, Jadon Sancho and Julian Brandt provide the ingredients for a super Sunday. - © Getty Images
Kai Havertz, Jadon Sancho and Julian Brandt provide the ingredients for a super Sunday. - © Getty Images

Jadon Sancho, Kai Havertz and Julian Brandt promise a super sunday in Dortmund


While plenty of eyes will be feasted on the touchline at the Signal Iduna Park on Sunday, when Peter Bosz makes his first return to former club Borussia Dortmund with his in-form Bayer Leverkusen side, they run the risk of missing the main attraction on the field of play.

Blink, though, and you might miss it. That's right – speed is going to be of the essence when some of the most talented and energetic youngsters in world football strut their stuff this Sunday.

In the one corner, Dortmund's dribbling star Jadon Sancho, who ranks third in the Bundesliga this season for the number of sprints – 651 – and is second for the number of assists he has provided – nine. The English international can send opposition defenders dizzy with his ability on the ball. In the continued injury-enforced absence of Marco Reus, the England international's importance to Dortmund has only been emphasised, and Leverkusen left-back Wendell can expect a particularly busy afternoon.

Have you heard about how good Jadon Sancho has been for Borussia Dortmund? - 2018 DFL

Sancho's seven goals outstrips Jacob Bruun Larsen, Christian Pulisic and Mario Götze put together, underlining his importance to the league leaders' push for a first title since 2012. Five of those goals have come in the familiar surroundings of the Signal Iduna Park, where he has also supplied nine of his assists and can be expected, once again, to bring the house down this weekend.

He will have to share the spotlight on Sunday, though, because Leverkusen roll into town with not just one, but two outstanding youngsters. New coach Peter Bosz appears to have brought the very best out of Kai Havertz and Julian Brandt, counterintuitively reversing their positions on the field in a tweak which has transformed their season with a top-four tilt in the offing.

That is largely because 19-year-old Havertz is having his best ever season. His nine goals, ranking him 11th in the league, have come from 51 shots on goal – more than any other player in the Bundesliga who does not ply their trade in attack. Furthermore, he boasts a remarkable 89 per cent pass success rate, and has churned up 252.9km, ranking him eighth in the league.

Watch: A tactical analysis of Havertz and Brandt at Leverkusen

He has not just been coasting around the field either, with 574 sprints – ninth highest league-wide – underlining his box-to-box ability. That he ranks in the top 20 for tackles won (227), outlines how if Havertz wants the ball, he tends to get it and, often times, he ends up doing something productive with it.

It is his partnership with 22-year-old Brandt, who has supplied six assists this season, which is doing the damage, though, with the pair having a hand in 21 of Leverkusen's 39 goals heading into Sunday's trip to Dortmund.

"He’s such a good player and you’ve got to give good players the ball as much as possible," Bosz said of Brandt, a player he said he admired even when he was in charge of Dortmund, and felt was out of position on the wing in those days.

Brandt happens to agree: "When you play on the wing, you're tied to the position and don't have as much room, so now I can run around with freedom," he said. "I feel very comfortable in the position." That comfort is oozing through as Brandt and Havertz meet Sancho in what is a mouthwatering prospect this Sunday.

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