Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski is unlikely to start against Freiburg
Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski is unlikely to start against Freiburg

Lewandowski a doubt as BVB travel to Freiburg

Freiburg - Bundesliga goal machine could miss his first league game of the season when Borussia Dortmund travel to free-falling SC Freiburg on Sunday (kick-off 14:30 GMT/15:30 CET).

'Not in any pain'

The Poland international strained knee ligaments whilst on international duty in midweek and although the injury is not considered to be serious, head coach Jürgen Klopp is unlikely to risk his prized asset with important UEFA Champions League and DFB Cup assignments just around the corner.

"It's doubtful [he'll play], but there's a small possibility that we'll bring him on at some point during the game," BVB's 46-year-old tactician explained. "He's doing fine. It was great [the Polish FA sent him straight back to Dortmund]. He's not in any pain. He's already building up his strength again."

The next question on everyone's lips at Friday's pre-match press conference inevitably revolved around short-term replacements for the Bundesliga's leading marksman, to which Klopp replied: "The first option is [Julian] Schieber and the other is [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang." The Gabon international has found the net 13 times in his debut season in Germany's top flight, but has done so largely from his preferred position on the right wing.

'Far from easy'

Dortmund's potential loss is invariably Freiburg's gain, however, with the FC Bayern München-bound Lewandowski having scored ten goals in his last seven games against the south-west strugglers. This season's reverse fixture ended 5-0 to BVB, who have also picked up maximum points from their last three visits to the Mage Solar Stadion.

The form book's clearly in his side's favour, but Klopp nevertheless expects a rough ride in Germany's sunniest city, where temperatures could rise as high as 23 degrees celsius on Sunday afternoon. "It's going to take some getting used to," he admitted. "It'll be far from easy. Freiburg have played well in recent weeks, despite having nothing to show for it. They'll want to show they deserve to stay in the top flight."

'Take it to Dortmund'

Die Breisgauer go into the game occupying 17th place in the standings, albeit currently level on points with relegation play-off place incumbents Hamburger SV and 15th-placed VfB Stuttgart. The Baden-Württemberg outfit have won just once since the winter break and are yet to keep a clean sheet on home soil all season.

"We're going to have to throw ourselves into the challenges, run and fight hard," said head coach Christian Streich, desperate to arrest his side's disturbing trend. "We'll have to take it to Dortmund and try to match them. We're going to have to be courageous and employ the right tactics, [...] but we also want to go out there and enjoy the game."

Possible line-ups:

Freiburg: Baumann - Sorg, Krmas, Ginter, C. Günter - Schuster, Fernandes - Schmid, Darida, Klaus - Mehmedi

Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Sokratis, Hummels, Schmelzer - Kehl, Sahin - Reus, H. Mkhitaryan, Großkreutz - Schieber (Aubameyang)

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Check out the top five goals of another BVB hero, Kevin Großkreutz, on the Bundesliga's official YouTube channel: