That 2-1 loss to SSC Napoli was the Westphalians’ first, German Supercup and DFB Cup included, of the 2013/14 campaign but they have more than just that to bounce back from at the Grundig Stadion.
A year ago, a traditionally battling Nürnberg side held Dortmund to a draw. After five games of the season, Borussia had just eight points with FC Bayern München already seven clear. That was one of the setbacks which ultimately left the Yellow-Blacks with too big a mountain to climb for the remainder of the season. “Bayern soon ran away from us and that didn’t necessarily help our motivation,” admitted coach Jürgen Klopp to bundesliga.com.
The boot is now on the other foot and, with five straight wins, it is Dortmund who get the chance to march away from Bayern with victory on Saturday. Their Bavarian title rivals are in action later on in the evening, giving Dortmund the chance to open up a morale-boosting five-point cushion at the top. “We want the points so we’re top of the table on Saturday evening too,” said BVB's sporting director Michael Zorc.
Total focus on the Bundesliga
The former Dortmund midfielder and club legend is as aware as anybody of how hard it is to come away from Nuremberg unscathed. “We’ve never had it easy here,” he admitted. “But we’ve often been successful. Our task will be to find our way back into the Bundesliga rhythm after missing out on victory in the Champions League, and we need to be 100 per cent focused on this game.”
Klopp is not expected to ring in the changes with the Dortmund coach sticking with his exciting, attack-minded style of play which revolves around the intuition of Henrikh Mkhitaryan. “Micki brings a lot of imagination and additional skill to our game with his passes, dribbling and turns,” said Nuri Sahin.
Capacity crowd as motivation
There could also be a starting berth for the league's joint-top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, left out initially on Wednesday, but capable of rousing Dortmund to a late rally with a shot against the woodwork. “Auba brings his pace into an already quick team,” continued Sahin, who is likely to be pulling the strings in the midfield along with Sven Bender, in the continued injury-enforced absence of Ilkay Gündogan.
55,000 fans witnessed the fireworks in Naples while almost as many should fill the Grundig Stadion on Saturday, providing a similarly electric atmosphere. “The thought of playing in front of 50,000 fans is pure motivation for us,” said Nürnberg coach Michael Wiesinger. “BVB have a lot of quality so we’re going to have to be alert and careful.” Hiroshi Kiyotake and Co. determined to be “the first team to steal points off Dortmund”, as their forward Daniel Ginczek put it.
Nürnberg: Schäfer - Chandler, Nilsson, Pogatetz, Plattenhardt - Stark, Hasebe, Drmic, Kiyotake, Hlousek - Ginczek
Dortmund Weidenfeller - Großkreutz, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer - Bender, Sahin - Blaszczykowski, Mkhitaryan, Reus - Lewandowski