Borussia Dortmund host Werder Bremen at the Signal Iduna Park at the weekend, with the home side looking for their first win in the Bundesliga since September.
After a promising start to the season, where Dortmund topped the table and rivals Bayern Munich struggled under ex-manager Carlo Ancelotti, BVB have slowly declined in form and now sit sixth in the league.
A number of injuries to key players along with a leaky defence has proven to be Dortmund's downfall, with it all culminating in the German giants crashing out of the Champions League in midweek.
Manager Peter Bosz has come under criticism in recent weeks and many believed he would be sacked after their 4-4 draw against Schalke. However, Dortmund have stuck with their boss for the time being and at the weekend are favourites to pick up all three points against struggling Bremen.
As for the visitors, it has been another worrying start to the season as they currently sit second from bottom. The form of striker Max Kruse has been a positive for Die Grün-Weißen, with the German hoping to bag another goal at the weekend.
A classic fixture between these two came at the back end of last season, when Dortmund beat Bremen 4-3 in a dramatic clash at the Signal Iduna Park.
The home side came into the game looking to secure third spot in the league, with RB Leipzig already securing second. However, it wasn't the best start for der BVB as Bremen midfielder Zlatko Junuzovic gave the away side a shock early lead.
Despite going behind early Dortmund carried on as normal and shortly they brought the game back level. A defence splitting pass from Shinji Kagawa left Marco Reus one on one and the German slotted the ball into the corner of the net.
Just before half time the home side had the lead, and what a goal it was. French star Ousmane Dembele chipped a delicious ball over the Bremen back line and striker Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang volleyed the ball into the roof of the net to give his side the lead heading into the break.
Bremen came out all guns blazing in the second half, and after quick fire goals from Fin Bartels and Max Kruse they found themselves 3-2 up with only 20 minutes left to play.
The Dortmund response was excellent and in the 75th minute a Reus penalty brought the game level again. The home side pushed for the winner and in the 89th minute Christian Pulisic was brought down and Dortmund had a penalty.
Up stepped Aubameyang and he slotted home to give der BVB all three points, and in doing secured the Bundesliga golden boot.
Dortmund finished third in the table and later won the DFB Pokal, capping what was a successful season for der BVB. Bremen finished eighth in the league and would be proud of their efforts during the campaign.
Sokratis vs Kruse
Sokratis Papastathopoulos has been a rock for Dortmund ever since he joined from Bremen in 2013. The Greek international has stayed clear of injuries in his time at the Signal Iduna Park, something that can't be said for his fellow defenders.
German forward Kruse has bagged four goals in the league this season, and after scoring in the previous fixture last season will be confident heading into the game.
The battle between these two players will make for interesting viewing as both have different playing styles. Sokratis is very strong and athletic, while Kruse plays intricate passes and relies on his skill on the ball.
Whomever comes out on top between the pair will give their side a massive advantage, as this key battle takes place in a key area of the pitch.
Sahin vs Delaney
This season Nuri Sahin has been an ever present in the Dortmund starting eleven. Under new boss Bosz, the Turk has rekindled the type of form that he produced in their title success of 2012.
Denmark international Thomas Delaney has been in good form this season for both club and country. The midfielder is tenacious in his play, and won't give the Dortmund midfield a moments peace.
The battle of the midfield will play a massive part in who wins the game on the weekend. If Sahin is allowed time and space, he will dictate the game and Dortmund will grab all three points. As for Delaney, if he can shut down the supply lines from the middle of the pitch, he will give his side a massive chance of leaving the Signal Iduna Park with a shock victory.
German star Maximilian Philipp is out for several months after picking up a knee injury in the draw at Bayer Leverkusen last weekend. He adds his name, that include Marco Reus, Mario Gotze, Gonzalo Castro and a whole host of others, that are sidelined until the New Year.
No new injury concerns for the away side, with left-back Ulisses Garcia the only real doubt for the game with illness. Winger Florian Kainz is at risk of suspension, with the Austrian already on four yellow cards this campaign.
Borussia Dortmund (3-4-3): Burki - Sokratis, Subotic, Schmelzer - Toljan, Dahoud, Sahin, Guerreiro - Pulisic, Aubameyang, Yarmolenko.
Werder Bremen (4-3-3): Pavlenka - Selassie, Veljkovic, Moisander, Augustinsson - Delaney, Bargfrede, Gondorf - Junuzovic, Kruse, Bartels.
Despite the home side being on a poor run of results, a win for BVB is on the cards. Bremen will sit back and make it difficult for Dortmund but in the end the attacking threat of Pulisic and Aubameyang will prove too much.
Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Werder Bremen