Borussia Dortmund resume their Bundesliga title challenge on Saturday afternoon as they take on European qualification chasers Wolfsburg at Signal Iduna Park.
Lucien Favre's team will kick off the weekend in second place, with Bayern Munich currently residing in the Bundesliga's top spot. BVB are however level on points with the Bavarians, meaning that the race for the Meisterschale could be a classic, with just seven goals currently separating the two teams.
Wolfsburg will arrive in Dortmund off the back of a 5-2 victory against Fortuna Dusseldorf, which saw them recover from a 6-0 hammering at BVB's title rivals Bayern Munich the previous week. Damaging Favre's team's title dreams by achieving a shock result could prove very helpful in achieving their European aspirations.
Here is 90min's preview of this intriguing German clash.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Saturday 30 March|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||14:30 (BST)|
|Where Is it Played?||Signal Iduna Park|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Bet365|
Dortmund will be sweating over the fitness of several players ahead of their return to domestic duties at the weekend.
Club top goalscorer Paco Alcacer has returned to training after suffering a muscle strain before the international break, however it is unknown as to whether the Spaniard will be ready for Saturday's match. Belgian midfielder Axel Witsel is also a doubt, following a hamstring injury which saw him miss his first Bundesliga match of the season last time out against Hertha Berlin.
Daniel Ginczek could make his long-awaited return for Wolfsburg at Signal Iduna Park on Saturday following his return to training this week. The German attacker is yet to appear in the Bundesliga in 2019 after tearing ankle ligaments.
Long term absentee Ignacio Camacho remains sidelined with a torn abductor muscle.
|Borussia Dortmund||Bürki, Hakimi, Akanji, Zagadou, Diallo, Witsel, Delaney, Sancho, Reus, Guerreiro, Götze
|Wolfsburg||Casteels, William, Knoche, Brooks, Roussillon, Gerhardt, Guilavogui, Arnold, Mehmedi, Weghorst, Brekalo|
Head to Head Record
Since Wolfsburg achieved promotion to the Bundesliga in 1997, both sides have remained mainstays in the German top flight, with fixtures between the two now totting up to 45 matches since the Wolves' inaugural campaign in the first division in 1997/98.
Dortmund lead the way with 25 victories, including the 1-0 victory in the corresponding fixture earlier in the season at the Volkswagen Arena. Marco Reus' first half strike was enough for Favre's team during the match in November, which saw BVB take all three points and maintain their blistering start to the season.
Wolfsburg have been victorious on ten occasions, with their last win against their Bundesliga rivals coming in 2015, as they defeated Dortmund to lift the DFB Cup at the Olympiastadion, thanks to goals from Luis Gustavo, Bas Dost and current Manchester City star Kevin de Bruyne.
The Wolves' last successful outing to the Signal Iduna Park came in December 2012, as goals from Diego, Naldo and Bas Dost all but ended the home side's hopes of defending their Bundesliga title.
Borussia Dortmund may be thankful for the recent two-week hiatus, as it provided the team's players with some time away from the high pressure situation which comes with such a closely fought title battle.
The club's last league outing saw them snatch victory at the Olympiastadion, coming from behind twice to overcome Hertha BSC, with Marco Reus' stoppage time winner keeping Dortmund on Bayern's heels at the top of the league.
The importance of domestic success has intensified further by the club's 4-0 aggregate defeat to Tottenham in the Champions League, with Lucien Favre's team winning both matches since their European exit.
Wherever Wolfsburg go, goals seem to follow, as in their last six Bundesliga matches bringing 27 goals. Worryingly for Wolfsburg, they have conceded 12 in their last six, with six of those coming in their humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena earlier this month.
They were able to find the back of the net last time out, hammering Fortuna Dusseldorf 5-2, with Dutch striker Wout Weghorst grabbing a hat-trick in the rout.
|Hertha Berlin 2-3 Dortmund (16/03)||Wolfsburg 5-2 Fortuna Dusseldorf (16/03)|
Dortmund 3-1 Stuttgart (09/03)
||Wolfsburg 1-1 Werder Bremen (03/03)|
Dortmund 0-1 Tottenham (05/03)
||Monchengladbach 0-3 Wolfsburg (23/02)|
|FC Augsburg 2-1 Dortmund (01/03)
||Wolfsburg 3-0 Mainz (16/02)|
Dortmund 3-2 Leverkusen (24/02)
||SC Freiburg 3-3 Wolfsburg (09/02)
Every match for Borussia Dortmund will now contain the same pressure and expectation as a cup final, so this upcoming match could be a clear indicator as to how the players will deal with the pressure of becoming the first team other than Bayern to win the Bundesliga title since 2012.
It may be edgy and nervy, however, as they did in Berlin, Dortmund will find a way past Wolfsburg.
Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Wolfsburg