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December 7, 2013 5:30 PM GMT
Signal-Iduna-Park — Dortmund
Referee:‬ F. Meyer‎
Attendance:‬ 80645‎

Borussia Dortmund - Bayer Leverkusen Preview: Bayern's main contenders look to keep pace at the top

Jurgen Klopp's men can leapfrog Sami Hyypia's side if they record a win, but the visitors have lost just once in their last 10 Bundesliga encounters

By Harry West

Borussia Dortmund v Bayer Leverkusen

Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen will look to keep pace with Bayern Munich when the two meet in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

Hosts Dortmund are in third place but seven points off the summit, with consecutive defeats to Wolfsburg and Pep Guardiola's side either side of the international break stalling their progress.

Jurgen Klopp's men have since won three games on the bounce in as many different competitions, defeating Napoli in the Champions League, beating Mainz in the league and prevailing against third-tier Saarbrucken in the last 16 of the DFB-Pokal on Tuesday.

Leverkusen are three points better off than their opponents and have won three league matches on the spin since their surprise 1-0 defeat at bottom club Eintracht Braunschweig at the start of November, which interrupted a six-game unbeaten run.

Sami Hyypia's side, like Dortmund, also progressed to the quarter-finals of the domestic cup competition in midweek with a 2-1 win at Freiburg.

Both of Leverkusen's league defeats have come on the road, while before the defeat to Bayern Dortmund had won all of their six home Bundesliga games, scoring 21 goals in the process.

The hosts have won four and drawn one of the past five meetings between the two sides, with Leverkusen's last success coming in a 2-0 win in August 2010.

Neither side can afford to lose if they are to keep the pressure on Guardiola's charges, who have dropped just four points in 14 league matches so far.

And Dortmund defender Manuel Friedrich, who made his third start of the season in the midweek cup success, has warned that the visitors will pose a serious threat on Saturday.

"We're up against very strong opposition and obviously the aim is to win and overtake Leverkusen in the standings," he said.

"We'll be doing a lot of analysing of their strengths and weaknesses and the coach will have his instructions for us.

"Then we've just got to give it everything we've got. Leverkusen are one of the best teams in the league."

Friedrich, who spent six seasons at Leverkusen before moving to Dortmund, is excited at the prospect of facing his former team-mates.

"(I'm looking forward to) just the game itself, really," he said.

"The reunion as well, of course. because I played alongside nearly all of them. There's going to be a great atmosphere, it's a home game for us and hopefully it'll have a positive outcome."

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Head to Head
1. Bundesliga ‎(BUN)‎ 7 Dec 2013 Borussia Dortmund 0 - Bayer Leverkusen 1
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1. Bundesliga ‎(BUN)‎ 3 Feb 2013 Bayer Leverkusen 2 - Borussia Dortmund 3
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1. Bundesliga ‎(BUN)‎ 15 Sep 2012 Borussia Dortmund 3 - Bayer Leverkusen 0
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1. Bundesliga ‎(BUN)‎ 11 Feb 2012 Borussia Dortmund 1 - Bayer Leverkusen 0
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1. Bundesliga ‎(BUN)‎ 27 Aug 2011 Bayer Leverkusen 0 - Borussia Dortmund 0
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Last Five Matches
Returns: Borussia Dortmund £15.70 WilliamHill William Hill: £25 in free bets
Returns: Draw £43.30 Bet365 Sign up with bet365 for a 100% deposit bonus up to £200
Returns: Bayer Leverkusen £60.00 Bet365 Sign up with bet365 for a 100% deposit bonus up to £200
Team News
Available Squads
1Roman WeidenfellerGoalkeeper
2Manuel FriedrichDefender
25Sokratis PapastathopoulosDefender
37Erik DurmDefender
6Sven BenderMidfielder
10Henrikh MkhitaryanMidfielder
16Jakub BlaszczykowskiMidfielder
18Nuri SahinMidfielder
19Kevin GroßkreutzMidfielder
9Robert LewandowskiStriker
17Pierre-Emerick AubameyangStriker
20Mitchell LangerakGoalkeeper
21Oliver KirchMidfielder
26Lukasz PiszczekDefender
5Sebastian KehlMidfielder
7Jonas HofmannMidfielder
11Marco ReusMidfielder
23Julian SchieberStriker
1Bernd LenoGoalkeeper
5Emir SpahicDefender
21Ömer ToprakDefender
26Giulio DonatiDefender
6Simon RolfesMidfielder
8Lars BenderMidfielder
10Emre CanMidfielder
13Jens HegelerMidfielder
27Gonzalo CastroDefender
7Heung-Min SonStriker
11Stefan KießlingStriker
22David YelldellGoalkeeper
4Philipp WollscheidDefender
17Sebastian BoenischDefender
15Levin Mete ÖztunaliMidfielder
23Robbie KruseMidfielder
-Dominik KohrMidfielder
9Eren DerdiyokStriker
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Robert Lewandowski Robert Lewandowski
Borussia Dortmund
17 4
Mario Mandzukic Mario Mandzukic
Bayern Munich
17 0
Adrian Ramos Adrian Ramos
Hertha BSC
16 3
Josip Drmic Josip Drmic
FC Nürnberg
16 2
Stefan Kießling Stefan Kießling
Bayer Leverkusen
15 2