Borussia Dortmund will go in search of their first win from the last six games as they welcome Bayer Leverkusen to the Signal Iduna Park on Sunday evening.
After drawing each of their last three league games, Dortmund's lead atop the Bundesliga has been cut to just three points and it could disappear completely should they fail to overcome Bayer.
Meanwhile, the visitors currently find themselves in a rich vein of form, and have won six of their last seven league outings, and will be looking to reduce the gap with the top four on Sunday evening.
Check out 90min's preview of Sunday's clash below.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Sunday 24 February|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||17:00 GMT|
|Where Is it Played?||Signal Iduna Park|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||BT Sport 1|
Dortmund will be relieved to hear of the timely return of club captain Marco Reus, who has missed their last three fixtures with a hamstring issue. After failing to score in their last two games, Lucien Favre will be buoyed by his star man's return to first team action with the German surely able to shoulder some of the goal scoring load.
As if an away trip to the Signal Iduna Park wasn't demanding enough, Bayer will have to do it without flying winger Karim Bellarabi who sat out Thursday's Europa League clash against Krasnodar with a torn muscle fibre. The 28-year-old has contributed to 15 goals in all competitions this term and will be sorely missed by manager Peter Bosz on Sunday.
|Borussia Dortmund||Burki; Hakimi, Weigl, Zagadou, Diallo; Dahoud, Witsel, Delaney; Reus, Gotze, Sancho.|
|Bayer Leverkusen||Hradecky; Weiser, Tah, Dragovic, Wendell; Havertz, Aranguiz, Brandt; Paulinho, Volland, Bailey.|
Head to Head Record
These two sides share an almost identical record in the head to head standings, with Dortmund boasting 30 wins from their last 79 Bundesliga meetings, whilst Bayer have enjoyed 27 during that period.
However, when competing on Dortmund's home turf, the record has been slightly more one-sided in recent years.
In the last three home ties against Bayer, Dortmund have won by an aggregate score of 13-2. They have also taken ten points from the last four meetings between the sides, notching 15 goals in the process against Die Werkself.
Though they have spluttered in recent weeks, Dortmund still remain top of the pile and continue to prove as tough an away trip as they come. Favre's men have won five of their last six home ties and remain the only team in the top flight yet to lose a home league game - with their last loss on home soil coming way back in May of last year.
Since the winter break, no one has accumulated more points than Bayer Leverkusen, who go into Sunday's clash on the back of a four game winning streak. They will be desperate to bounce back from their disappointing exploits in Europe, where Russian outfit Krasnodar dumped them out of the Europa League.
Here's how each team performed in their last five fixtures:
|Borussia Dortmund||Bayer Leverkusen|
|Nurnberg 0-0 Dortmund (18/02)||Bayer 1-1 Krasnodar (21/02)|
|Tottenham 3-0 Dortmund (13/02)||Bayer 2-0 Fortuna Dusseldorf (17/02)|
|Dortmund 3-3 Hoffenheim (9/02)||Krasnodar 0-0 Bayer (14/02)|
|Dortmund 3-3 Werder Bremen (5/02)||Mainz 1-5 Bayer (8/02)|
|Eintracht Frankfurt 1-1 Dortmund (02/02)||Heidenheim 2-1 Bayer (5/02)|
With Marco Reus set to return to the fold, Dortmund will be heavy favourites to come out on top in this one. With 54 goal on the season already, they have scored more league goals than any other Bundesliga side and will be eager to get their noses in front on Saturday, as they have won each of their last 27 games in which they have netted first.
Bayer will provide a tricky test for BVB, but Dortmund will secure their third win of 2019.