Borussia Dortmund aim to use Euro success to fix dire league form
Borussia Dortmund want to use their high-flying Champions League form to help turn around their dire Bundesliga fortunes when they host Borussia Moenchengladbach on Sunday.
Berlin: Borussia Dortmund want to use their high-flying Champions League form to help turn around their dire Bundesliga fortunes when they host Borussia Moenchengladbach on Sunday.
Dortmund enjoyed a 4-1 romp at home to Galatasaray on Tuesday in a match which was twice halted due to crowd trouble when away fans set off fireworks. European football`s governing body UEFA are investigating.
It was Dortmund`s fourth straight European win to put them through to the Champions League`s knock-out phase and kept them top of the group.
But their domestic form is woeful after five straight German league defeats which has left them second-from-bottom in the table.
Jurgen Klopp`s side has another chance to turn their fortunes round against third-placed Gladbach, who are on a club record 17-match unbeaten run and held leaders Bayern Munich to a goalless draw a fortnight ago.
"It felt good to have won again against Galatasaray," said Borussia`s veteran midfielder Sebastian Kehl, 35, who is set to make his 300th league appearance on Sunday.
"Now we need to prove that after a great Champions League match we can also pick up points in the Bundesliga.
"It would be cool if we can start doing that this weekend."
Gladbach will be again without Swiss defensive midfielder Granit Xhaka, who has an ankle injury.
Dortmund need to be careful as both centre-backs Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Neven Subotic are just one match away from suspension after each picked up four yellow cards this season.
Klopp is short on centre-backs with captain Mats Hummels out with a foot injury he sustained in last Saturday`s 2-1 defeat at Bayern.
Pep Guardiola has said his Bayern will now focus on improving their four-point lead in the Bundesliga after Wednesday`s 2-0 win over Roma secured both their place in the Champions League`s last 16 and confirmed them as group winners.
Munich are at Frankfurt on Saturday in a game which will go ahead despite the four-day rail strike which is set to hit Germany this weekend.
Bayern are without left-back David Alaba who is expected to miss the rest of the year with a medial knee ligament injury.
Guardiola is set to rotate his squad after both Germany winger Thomas Mueller and Arjen Robben sat out the win over Roma.
Bayer Leverkusen will be without five senior players, including captain Simon Rolfes for Saturday`s visit of Mainz, following their 2-1 Champions League victory at St Petersburg.
Coach Roger Schmidt is also missing injured midfielders Gonzalo Castro, Stefan Reinartz and Greece`s Kyriakos Papadopoulos, while defender Tin Jedvaj is suspended.
"The victory in St. Petersburg was good for us, but we must keep going in the league and try and take the three points," said Schmidt with Leverkusen fifth after last weekend`s shock defeat at Hamburg.
Second-placed Wolfsburg are chasing their seventh straight win when they host strugglers Hamburg on Sunday.
Eighth-placed Schalke 04 are looking to pick up the pieces after their 4-2 defeat at Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday in the Champions League when they face Freiburg away.
Freiburg have won their last two games to move up from bottom of the table to 16th while Roberto di Matteo is looking for his fourth win in six games since taking charge.
Fixtures (all kick-off times 1430 GMT unless stated)
Hertha Berlin v Hanover 96 (1930)
Bayer Leverkusen v Mainz 05, Augsburg v Paderborn, Hoffenheim v Cologne, Eintracht Frankfurt v Bayern Munich, Freiburg v Schalke, Werder Bremen v VfB Stuttgart (1730)
VfL Wolfsburg v Hamburg, Borussia Dortmund v Borusia Moenchengladbach (1630)