BVB seem to have lost the imperious air that surrounded them last season and will be eager to set that straight in a replay of one of last season's most exciting matches
Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer
Reus, Gotze, Grosskreutz
Sakai, Tasci, Niedermeier, Molinaro
Gentner, Kvist, Holzhauser
Harnik, Ibisevic, Traore
Jurgen Klopp is expected to name the same starting XI which defeated Freiburg last weekend as Borussia Dortmund host Stuttgart on Saturday.
After a stuttering start to the season, which included defeat to rivals Schalke last month, BVB have since recorded three straight wins in all competitions. Now looking for consistency, there are unlikely to be any changes as Ilkay Gundogan continues in midfield ahead of the injured Sven Bender.
The two teams played out an epic 4-4 draw in last season's corresponding fixture and the reigning champions will start with nine of the same players: only Shinji Kagawa, who has since left for Manchester United, and Jakub Blaszczykowski (injured) will be absent. In their stead there are more than capable replacements in the form of Mario Gotze and Marco Reus.
With his team unbeaten in four league outings, Bruno Labbadia is also expected to retain the same XI from Stuttgart's 2-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt. However, there are concerns over the fitness of right-back Gotoku Sakai and Serdar Tasci which could mean a reshuffle at the back.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- In the corresponding fixture from last season, Borussia Dortmund could only manage a 4-4 draw against a determined Stuttgart side.
- Jurgen Klopp's side have only tasted defeat twice in their previous 37 Bundesliga outings.
- BVB have drawn their last three matches against die Schwaben at the Signal Iduna Park
- Stuttgart hold the upper hand in the history books when facing the reigning champions with 38 wins to 28 in a total of 88 meetings.
- The Baden-Wurttemberg outfit have not picked up all three points in Dortmund since a 1-0 win in February 2007.
- Vedad Ibisevic (right) has netted more Bundesliga goals than any BVB player so far this season. His five strikes put him one goal ahead of the hosts' leading scorer, Reus.