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Bundesliga

  • 30 March 2012
  • • 19:30
  • • Signal-Iduna-Park, Dortmund
  • Referee: M. Weiner
  • • Attendance: 80720
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Borussia Dortmund - Stuttgart Preview: Leaders hope to extend lead to eight points in the Bundesliga

Borussia Dortmund - Stuttgart Preview: Leaders hope to extend lead to eight points in the Bundesliga

Bongarts

The hosts will aim to increase their advantage in the first match of round 27, but come up against a side in red-hot form with the Swabians on target for a top-five finish


PROBABLE LINEUPS


DORTMUND



Weidenfeller
Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer
Bender, Gundogan
Kuba, Kagawa, Grosskreutz
Lewandowski

STUTTGART


Ulreich
Sakai, Tasci, Niedermeier, Boka
Kvist, Kuzmanovic
Harnik, Hajnal, Schieber
Ibisevic

Dortmund starlet Mario Gotze returned to training this week, but the 19-year-old is still far from being fit to start. Jakub 'Kuba' Blaszczykowski will retain his starting berth on the right flank.

In defensive midfield, Jurgen Klopp is tipped to give Ilkay Gundogan the nod, as the Turk has become a key player in the last two matches. The trainer will have a nearly full squad available, with only long-term casualty Julian Koch absent.

Vedad Ibisevic is set to return from suspension and could replace Cacau in the Stuttgart starting XI. Serdar Tasci is also expected to make his comeback following an injury lay-off, and will likely displace Maza.

Friday's match comes far too early for Khalid Boulahrouz and Shinji Okazaki, however, as the two are still recovering from knocks.



DID YOU KNOW?
  • Dortmund have not lost in the Bundesliga for 21 games. Their last defeat was on September 18, 2011.
  • The title holders have attracted a club record 80,460 average attendance at home games this season. The figure is 99.7 per cent of the full capacity of the Westfalenstadion.
  • In 10 appearances since the winter break, Shinji Kagawa has scored eight goals and made four assists.
  • Stuttgart have won four of their last five games, conceding just twice in the process.
  • After a strong start to the season, VfB sunk to 11th place before finding their form again. They now are seventh, one point away from fifth spot.
  • Vedad Ibisevic has found the net four times for the Swabians since his mid-season signing from Hoffenheim. Only Martin Harnik, Shinji Okazaki and Cacau have scored more for VfB.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Roman WeidenfellerGoalkeeper
4Neven SuboticDefender
15Mats HummelsDefender
26Lukasz PiszczekDefender
29Marcel SchmelzerDefender
5Sebastian KehlMidfielder
16Jakub BlaszczykowskiMidfielder
19Kevin GroßkreutzMidfielder
8Ilkay GündoganMidfielder
7Robert LewandowskiStriker
26Shinji KagawaMidfielder
20Mitchell LangerakGoalkeeper
24Chris LöweDefender
25Patrick OwomoyelaDefender
8Moritz LeitnerMidfielder
9Ivan PerisicMidfielder
6Sven BenderMidfielder
19L. BarriosStriker
1Sven UlreichGoalkeeper
2Gotoku SakaiDefender
6Georg NiedermeierDefender
2Javi MartínezMidfielder
15Arthur BokaDefender
4William Kvist JörgensenMidfielder
17Zdravko KuzmanovicMidfielder
30Tamas HajnalMidfielder
7Martin HarnikStriker
9Vedad IbisevicStriker
23Julian SchieberStriker
23Marc ZieglerGoalkeeper
3Cristian MolinaroDefender
5Serdar TasciDefender
10Timo GebhartMidfielder
-Ibrahima TraoreMidfielder
20Christian GentnerMidfielder
-Mamadou BahMidfielder
Players to Watch
Shinji Kagawa
Shinji Kagawa
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 26
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Having played a major part in four goals last week, the Japan international is in stellar form. Kagawa has enjoyed a brilliant run of form in Mario Gotze's absence, and his class will be needed again as BVB look to extend their lead.
Serdar Tasci
Serdar Tasci
Position: Defender
Squad Number: 5
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The captain has recovered from an injury, and is set to make his return in central defence. Tasci will face a strong Dortmund attack that put six past Koln last week, and will need to be at his best to avoid a repeat.
Prediction
The Swabians have looked impressive at the back, and given their recent success, will be no push-overs. But Dortmund have won almost every game this spring, and are playing at home: they are clear favourites and should come out on top.
Editor's Prediction

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