Paderborn - Bundesliga surprise package SC Paderborn 07 play host to UEFA Champions League participants Borussia Dortmund, but with both sides in contrasting form in the 2014/15 campaign, the top-flight's most high-octane outfits have it all to play for.
bundesliga.com is on hand to ensure you’re privy to all the pre-match rumblings from both camps ahead of Saturday’s (kick-off 14:30 GMT/15:30 CET) clash at the Benteler-Arena…
Having put their five-game losing streak to bed prior to the two-week hiatus, 15th-placed Dortmund have their sights set on an ascent up the standings ahead of this weekend’s must-win fixture against ninth-placed Paderborn, who just nine years ago were facing off with BVB’s reserves in the fourth tier.
Captain Uwe Hünemeier - one of six former Dortmund players on Paderborn’s books - is racing against the clock, with the 28-year-old labouring under the effects of a torn abdominal muscle. Right-back Jens Wemmer will definitely miss out after picking up a similar injury in the 3-0 loss to FC Augsburg.
Marco Reus has fully recovered from his ankle knock, while head coach Jürgen Klopp is also expecting to have Lukasz Piszczek (back) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (flu) at his disposal. Matthias Ginter will partner Neven Subotic in the heart of defence with Mats Hummels and Sokratis both unavailable.
Labelled by Klopp as the “biggest talent Mainz 05 have ever produced”, Mario Vrancic has a lot to live up to ahead of his reunion with the man whom he followed to Dortmund back in 2011. Technically gifted and a driving force in midfield, BVB will be keen to stem Vrancic’s creativity.
Injury issues aside, Marco Reus has been in sensational form this season, producing performances of the highest calibre, most recently in the 1-0 win over Gladbach on Matchday 11. Having registered two goals and as many assists in six outings, misfiring Dortmund pose a much greater threat with Reus fit.
BVB, who haven’t picked up a single point in their last four away matches and have already suffered as many defeats (seven) as they did in the whole of 2013/14, find themselves five points adrift of Paderborn, whose mid-table position can largely be attributed to their fine home form (3W 2D 1L).
Saturday’s showdown will be the 858th different Bundesliga fixture. The newly-promoted side have never faced Dortmund in a competitive match as SC Paderborn 07, but did suffer a 4-2 loss in the 1984/85 DFB Cup second round as TuS Paderborn-Neuhaus, who were renamed in 1997.
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Paderborn: L. Kruse - Heinloth, Strohdiek, Hünemeier, Brückner - Ziegler - Koc, Bakalorz, Vrancic, Stoppelkamp - Kachunga
Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Subotic, Ginter, Durm - S. Bender, Kehl - Mkhitaryan, Kagawa, Reus - Aubameyang
Find out how Borussia Dortmund's stars fared in the Bundesliga's pre-season crossbar challenge on the official Bundesliga YouTube channel: