Runners up seems the best the reigning Bundesliga champions can hope for this season and on Saturday, they welcome Hannover who recently hammered five past Hamburg
Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer
Blaszczykowski, Gotze, Reus
Chahed, Djourou, Schulz, Pocognoli
Konan, Hoffmann, Pinto, Rausch
Borussia Dortmund come into Saturday’s match a whopping 17 points adrift of Bayern Munich and on the back of a DFB-Pokal loss to the Bundesliga leaders in the Bavarian capital on Wednesday.
Coach Jurgen Klopp will likely name a side similar to the one that fell 1-0 at Allianz Arena, although captain Sebastian Kehl could come into the midfield for Sven Bender.
The big news for the champions is that Robert Lewandowski is allowed to play after having his ban for his red card against Hannover reduced by one game.
Hannover are just a single point back off the Europa League places coming into the weekend, although a loss at Dortmund coupled with wins for Mainz, Schalke and Borussia Monchengladbach would see them drop from seventh place to 10th.
Coach Mirko Slomka has several injuries to worry about ahead of kick off. Defender Mario Eggimann won’t play again this season due to a broken leg; right-back Steve Cherundolo is out with a knee injury; midfielder Leon Andreasen will be out at least another month with a knee problem; midfielder Szabolcs Huszti has a hamstring sprain and defender Felipe is out injured as well.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Borussia Dortmund have won just one of their last five matches in all competitions — a 3-0 win at home to Eintracht Frankfurt on February 16.
- Dortmund will be without Robert Lewandowski and his 14 Bundesliga goals on Saturday. Next on the club’s scoring table is Marco Reus with 10, followed by Jakub Blaszczykowski with nine and Mario Gotze with eight.
- Torsten Frings, who played for Dortmund between 2002 and 2004, announced his retirement from football on Tuesday.
- Hannover come into Saturday’s match having won four of their last five Bundesliga matches.
- Hannover have beaten Dortmund just once (in September 2011) in the Bundesliga since 2008 — a run of nine matches.
- One-time Manchester United prospect Mame Biram Diouf (pictured, right) leads Hannover with 10 Bundesliga goals so far this season and will start up front with Mohammed Abdellaoue, who has six.