Dortmund - Two heavyweights of the German game lock horns in Westphalia on Wednesday night (kick-off: 18:00 GMT/20:00 CEST), as Borussia Dortmund and VfB Stuttgart go in search of a much-needed pick-me-up after defeats at the weekend. pre-match lowdown ahead of the appetising Signal Iduna Park encounter...

Dortmund started last season with four straight victories and are therefore already six points behind that bounty after the same number of games this term. As for Stuttgart, while they had at least won a game at the same stage of last term, they are in similarly precarious territory with tension mounting.

Dortmund's injury list seems endless with Henrikh Mkhitaryan's name added on Sunday. He joins Mats Hummels, Jakub Blaszczykowski, Marco Reus, Oliver Kirch and Nuri Sahin in the treatment room. Elsewhere, Jürgen Klopp has ruled out the chance of Ilkay Gündogan making a surprise return.

is not yet ready to make his contribution to the Stuttgart cause this season, leaving coach Armin Veh with the same set of first-team players at his disposal as he had for the 2-0 defeat to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at the weekend.

Shinji Kagawa made a dream return to Dortmund with a goal on his second debut for the club, and such inspiration is what BVB need against Stuttgart. His trickery and tenacity behind the attacker - be it Ciro Immobile or Adrian Ramos - gives the Westphalians an additional scoring outlet, as well as a creative spark.

suffered from injuries for most of last season, but he is now back to showing the same kind of form seen during his 1. FC Nürnberg days. He had a successful 2012/13 season on loan there, but Stuttgart refused to let him stay and, with his dangerous incursions from the left causing havoc, it's not hard to see why.

Jürgen Klopp (Dortmund coach): What is it they say? First we had no luck, and then we got some bad luck on top.

(Stuttgart midfielder): All we are lacking is a good result. We're going to need a good performance to get that, but we hope to spring a surprise.

Dortmund's topsy-turvy start to the season has shown glimpses of brilliance intermingled with some worrying wobbles, resulting in an inconsistent start to 2014/15. Stuttgart have at least shown consistency, albeit negative. VfB are facing frustrating times though, with their sole point not a true reflection of their form.

Stuttgart's last win over Dortmund came in January 2010, since which BVB have triumphed four times with four draws, including a sensational 4-4 draw in March 2012. Stuttgart will not have fond memories of their last visit to the Signal Iduna Park, though - they were demolished 6-1 just under a year ago.

Possible line-ups:

Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Subotic, Sokratis, Schmelzer - Bender, Jojic - Aubameyang, Kagawa, Großkreutz - Ramos

Stuttgart: Ulreich - Klein, Schwaab, Rüdiger, Sakai - Oriol Romeu, Gentner - Werner, Didavi, Leitner - Ibisevic

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