Borussia Dortmund - Bayer Leverkusen Preview: Champions aim to recover from Nurnberg blip
The reigning champions could only record a 1-1 draw with Dieter Hecking's men a fortnight ago, but have a full squad to choose from for the clash with die Werkself
By Enis Koylu
Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer
Kuba, Gotze, Reus
Carvajal, Wollscheid, Toprak, Kadlec
Bender, Reinartz, Rolfes
Castro, Kiessling, Schurrle
Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that he has a full squad to pick from for the visit of their North Rhine Westphalia rivals.
Mario Gotze has been used sparingly by the champions so far this season after a string of injuries has hampered his year, but after featuring heavily for Germany during the international break, he should be able to come back into the starting line-up at the expense of Kevin Grosskreutz, who has been less than impressive this season.
Elsewhere, Sven Bender is yet to play a minute of football this season after hernia surgery, but should be fine to take up a place on the bench, with club captain Sebastian Kehl continuing in midfield alongside Ilkay Gundogan.
Meanwhile, Bayer Leverkusen have just Sidney Sam, who is back in training but lacking fitness, missing for the trip to Signal Iduna Park, and Sami Hyypia's men should line up in a 4-3-3 formation.
Former Real Madrid trainee Dani Carvajal should keep his place at right-back after a promising performance against Freiburg on matchday 2.
One change that the former Liverpool defender could make would see Stefan Reinartz, who was in poor form a fortnight ago, replaced by Renato Augusto, should the Finn see the need to go for a more attacking option in midfield.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Borussia Dortmund finished seven points ahead of second-placed Leverkusen in their first Bundesliga-winning season under Jurgen Klopp.
- Die Schwarzgelben managed to score just one goal against their fellow North Rhine Westphalia outfit last season, but still managed to gain a total of four points.
- Dortmund duo Marco Reus (pictured, right) and Oliver Kirch will be particularly eager to impress on Saturday, having represented Leverkusen's Rhine rivals Borussia Monchengladbach before moving to Jurgen Klopp's side.
- Bayer Leverkusen have beaten Dortmund just once in the last four seasons. Then coached by current Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes, they triumphed 2-0 at Signal Iduna Park on matchday 1 in the 2010-11 season.
- Lars Bender could face his identical twin brother Sven on Saturday, should the latter recover sufficiently from hernia surgery to feature.
- Die Werkself are the only team in history to have reached the Champions League final without ever having won their domestic league.
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Top 3 Predictions
Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Bayer 04 Leverkusen
- 20.12 %
Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Bayer 04 Leverkusen
- 12.68 %
Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Bayer 04 Leverkusen
- 12.27 %
|Germany - 1. Bundesliga (BUN)||Dec 7, 2013||Borussia Dortmund 0 - Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1|
|Germany - 1. Bundesliga (BUN)||Feb 3, 2013||Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2 - Borussia Dortmund 3|
|Germany - 1. Bundesliga (BUN)||Sep 15, 2012||Borussia Dortmund 3 - Bayer 04 Leverkusen 0|
|Germany - 1. Bundesliga (BUN)||Feb 11, 2012||Borussia Dortmund 1 - Bayer 04 Leverkusen 0|
|Germany - 1. Bundesliga (BUN)||Aug 27, 2011||Bayer 04 Leverkusen 0 - Borussia Dortmund 0|
|Dec 7, 2013||Borussia Dortmund 0 - Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1||BUN|
|Dec 3, 2013||1. FC Saarbruecken 0 - Borussia Dortmund 2||GERC|
|Nov 30, 2013||1. FSV Mainz 05 1 - Borussia Dortmund 3||BUN|
|Nov 26, 2013||Borussia Dortmund 3 - Napoli 1||UCL|
|Nov 23, 2013||Borussia Dortmund 0 - FC Bayern München 3||BUN|
Times In WAT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed