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The Japanese star will have a big role to play this week as Bundesliga leaders Dortmund face their two closest title contenders in a grueling four-day span

After a mixed effort in Borussia Dortmund's 3-1 win at Wolfsburg on Saturday, Shinji Kagawa was already looking ahead to two crucial fixtures in the upcoming week that could make or break his team's hopes of earning a second straight title.

Dortmund host second-placed Bayern Munich on Wednesday night in a highly-awaited match-up, before travelling to third-placed rivals Schalke for a Saturday afternoon fixture with as much significance to the table.

"If we can beat Bayern and Schalke it would be huge for us," Kagawa said after the match. "The next match (against Bayern) will have a huge influence on the championship race so I want us to enjoy that pressure.

"A good result would be fantastic. I'm looking forward to it."

The Samurai Blue midfielder also admitted seeing shades of last week's 4-4 shoot-out against Stuttgart after Mario Mandzukic pulled Wolfsburg to within one goal on Saturday.

"Last week our 2-0 lead turned into a draw," Kagawa reflected. "We were somewhat concerned.

"Wolfsburg focused on the long ball so something could have happened at any time, and they had the advantage of playing at home. It's good for us that we didn't give up another goal."

The 23-year-old was ready to critique his own performance as well, after failing to extend his league scoring streak to four.

"I didn't quite have good timing with my team-mates," Kagawa said. "[Wolfsburg's] back line was defending high and compact, so our usual sense of distance got compressed and it became somewhat difficult to manage.

"But if I could have gotten the ball in better circumstances I think I could have done better."

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