Bundesliga Preview: Hoffenheim v Borussia Dortmund
By Football News
Borussia Dortmund will look to end a poor run of Bundesliga form when they visit mid-table Hoffenheim on Saturday.
Jurgen Klopp's men have lost three of their last four league matches and sit third in the table, 10 points behind leaders Bayern Munich.
Their last loss – a disappointing 1-0 defeat to second-placed Bayer Leverkusen – was compounded by ankle injuries suffered by Sven Bender and Nuri Sahin.
Sahin's problem was not serious and he returned to Dortmund's starting line-up for Wednesday's last-gasp 2-1 UEFA Champions League win over Marseille in France.
That win – which came courtesy of an 87th-minute winner from Kevin Grosskreutz – saw Dortmund finish on top of a tough Group F that also contained Arsenal and Napoli.
Without the goal Dortmund, last season's Champions League finalists, would have dropped out of the tournament and coach Klopp will hope their late win leads to a good run of form.
In Poland forward Robert Lewandowski, they have the league's top scorer, with the 25-year-old having scored 11 in 15 Bundesliga matches this season.
Gabon forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has added eight and could return to Dortmund's XI for this match, while defender Lukasz Piszczek is set to replace Erik Durm.
Manuel Friedrich – ineligible for the Champions League – is likely to come back in and partner Sokratis Papastathopoulos at the heart of defence in the continued absence of Neven Subotic (knee) and Mats Hummels (ankle).
Dortmund have won five of their last six road trips, including a triumph at Premier League table-toppers Arsenal.
And they will feel confident given Hoffenheim's dreadful home record, with Markus Gisdol's side having won just one of eight Bundesliga home fixtures this season.
They have won their last two matches, form which has seen them rise to 11th, but their previous home success in the league came way back in September.
Attackers Roberto Firmino (eight goals) and Anthony Modeste (six goals) have been in form for Hoffenheim and only three sides have scored more than them.
But no team has shipped more goals than Hoffenheim's 35 and with Dortmund averaging two-and-a-half goals per match, they will fancy their chances in attack.
Hoffenheim goalkeeper Jens Grahl made his debut last week and looks set to feature again for the hosts.