Just one point separates Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig ahead of Saturday’s mouthwatering fixture at the Signal Iduna Park.
|Photo: Sandro Halank, Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA 4.0
Dortmund will head into the weekend in a downbeat mood after they suffered a Pokal exit at the hands of Stuttgart. Second-half strikes from Serhou Guirassy and Silas condemned Dortmund to a 2-0 home defeat, representing the second time they have lost to Stuttgart in the last month.
Die Schwarzgelben will now turn their attention to league action, and they will looking to start picking up victories, having won just one of their last five Bundesliga matches. In their most recent league outing, Dortmund played out a 1-1 draw with leaders Bayer Leverkusen. Edin Terzic’s side led for the majority of the contest following Julian Ryerson’s fifth-minute opener, but a late Victor Boniface strike ensured the spoils were shared.
As a result of their inconsistent form, Dortmund head into the weekend in fifth position, with one point separating them from their fourth-placed opponents, while there is a sizable 10-point gap between themselves and top spot.
With Dortmund now preparing for another test tough, they may take confidence from the fact they have won four of their last five competitive home matches.
They will be unable to call upon Julian Ryerson and Youssoufa Moukoko due to knee and hamstring injuries respectively. Sebastien Haller, Felix Nmecha and Julien Duranville are also set to miss out, while there are doubts surrounding the availability of Marius Wolf and Marcel Sabitzer.
After being knocked in the previous round, the current Pokal holders have had a week to reflect upon a narrow 2-1 win over newly-promoted Heidenheim. Loïs Openda opened the scoring from the penalty spot, before Yussuf Poulsen doubled his side’s advantage in the 44th minute. Although Heidenheim quickly pulled a goal back in first-half stoppage time, die Roten Bullen saw out the remainder of the contest to claim a third consecutive home league victory.
Although Leipzig are unbeaten in their last 11 home matches in the Bundesliga, they have been unable to take anything from their last two away games. After being beaten 2-0 by Mainz at the start of November, Marco Rose’s charges fell to a narrow 2-1 defeat in their most recent away game against Wolfsburg.
While their recent away performances may not inspire confidence, they can certainly draw inspiration from their head-to-head record. Impressively, Leipzig have won four of their last five competitive meetings with Dortmund, including a 2-0 win when the two sides last met in April’s Pokal quarter-finals.
The visitors will be without the services of Timo Werner, Dani Olmo and Willie Orban. Meanwhile, El Chadaille Bitshiabu is a doubt due to a knee problem.