BVB face an acid test next Tuesday when they travel to FC Bayern München in the semi-final of the DFB Cup, but outgoing coach Jürgen Klopp insists that with European qualification still a possibility through the league, the club would be "mad" to prioritise their Munich matchup.
bundesliga.com previews the action against the Eagles...
There may be just five games of the season left, but the standings remain as tight as ever. Both sides, next to one another in the table and level on points, retain hope of reaching next season's UEFA Europa League, and victory here could take them to within three points of sixth-placed FC Augsburg.
BVB have received a major boost with news that Marco Reus could play following a recent groin injury. The 25-year-old trained with the team on Thursday and Jürgen Klopp was happy with his progress: "If he's 100 per cent fit, he'll definitely be considered." Lukasz Piszczek, Nuri Sahin, Oliver Kirch and Sebastian Kehl are all injured.
Shorn of top scorer Alexander Meier, Thomas Schaaf will likely continue with Nelson Valdez leading the line against his former club. The coach will have to shuffle his pack in defence as well, with Constant Djakpa and Carlos Zambrano candidates to replace suspended duo Bamba Anderson and Bastian Ozcipka.
On the scoresheet a week ago and still Dortmund's top marksman this term, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be licking his lips at the thought of testing himself against the league's joint-leakiest defence. The Gabonese forward has 13 goals this season and has also bagged three in four appearances against the Eagles.
Four goals and three assists in 21 Bundesliga appearances this season are a healthy return indeed for Marc Stendera, and the 19-year-old is evidently improving week by week. Stendera will be charged with bearing the creative burden in midfield, where his battle with BVB’s Ilkay Gündogan could be fascinating.
Klopp: “Finishing seventh having been 18th wouldn’t be bad at all, but all that counts right now is Frankfurt and we’d be mad to put all our eggs in one basket in the DFB Cup. Thomas Schaaf’s Bremen team played spectacular football, so if Frankfurt play their part this weekend, it'll be a really good game.”
Valdez: "We've still got five games left and we all have to give it everything. That's what we said after the Gladbach game: no one's easing off, it's full steam ahead [...] It'll be a special game. I had my ups and downs [at Dortmund]. I won't celebrate if I score."
Dortmund come into the game on the back of an impressive 3-0 win against SC Paderborn 07 last weekend, a result and performance that evidenced the club's desire to make Klopp's remaining few games something to remember. Frankfurt, meanwhile, have failed to score in the since Meier's injury.
In their 83 Bundesliga meetings, Dortmund have come out on top 39 times compared to Frankfurt's 28, with 16 matches ending all square. Their previous meeting this season, a 2-0 victory for Eintracht back on Matchday 13, remains one of BVB's most damaging losses in what has been tough campaign.
Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Durm, Sokratis, Hummels, Schmelzer - Bender, Gündogan - Blaszczykowski, Kagawa, Mkhitaryan - Aubameyang
Frankfurt: Trapp - Ignjovski, Zambrano, Madlung, Chandler - Stendera, Hasebe - Aigner, Kittel - Valdez, Seferovic