Both had great starts into their 2013/14 campaign and will fight for the number two spot behind log leaders Bayern Munich. With a home win Dortmund could level Leverkusen’s points tally and surpass the Hyypia side based on their better goal difference.
“A victory over Leverkusen is always something special,” said Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp and praised his opponents as a “result-driven machine”.
He admitted that Leverkusen got a massive beating from Manchester United in between their great league run.
But the Dortmund coach saw it as wake-up-call and admitted “it’s better to lose once 5-0 with five wins than losing five games 1-0 with winning one.”
Klopp will be hoping that he can use the likes of Marco Reus, Robert Lewandowski, Nuri Sahin and Sven Bender, who all fought with some injury niggles this week.
The match will also be a direct duel between the Bundesliga’s two top strikers Robert Lewandowski and Stefan Kiessling.
Lewandowski sits currently on 11 goals and Kiessling has scored nine. Last season the tall Leverkusen striker won the Bundesliga Golden Boot with 25 goals in 34 games ahead of the polish striker who scored 24 in 31.
Although the overall contest between the two Munich-chasers is quite equal (25 wins for Dortmund, 24 for Leverkusen and 19 draws) Leverkusen haven’t won against The Yellow and Blacks since August 2011. Their last home victory against Borussia even dates back to May 2007.
However, Leverkusen are on-form in the Bundesliga with five wins out of their last six matches and Klopp’s Dortmund has lost a bit of pace under their recent injury blows.
Also on Saturday, Pep’s Bayern Munich face an away trip to Werder Bremen and will be hoping to extend their unbeaten run this season. In addition, their gap to at least one, if not both their direct chasers, could open wider.
Munich need to replace injured winger Arjen Robben.
Their captain Phillip Lahm probably also has to sit out another game, but Frenchman Franck Ribery could return to the starting XI.
The other fixtures of this game week are:
FC Nurnberg – FSV Mainz
Bor. Monchengladbach – FC Schalke
Werder Bremen – Bayern Munich
VFB Stuttgart – Hannover
Hamburger SV – FC Augsburg
Eintracht Frankfurt – Hoffenheim
SC Freiburg – VFL Wolfsburg
Eint. Brauschweig – Hertha Berlin