Borussia Dortmund travel to VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday evening (kick-off 18:30CET/17:30GMT) in an eagerly-awaited blockbuster between FC Bayern München’s closest pursuers.
bundesliga.com has the guide to the heavyweight encounter at the Volkswagen Arena…
Like Dortmund, Wolfsburg are unbeaten at home this season. In fact, the Wolves’ undefeated streak on their own patch stretches back a club-record 29 games – a run not even Bundesliga leaders Bayern can currently match. If Dieter Hecking’s men avoid defeat on Saturday, they will move into the all-time top ten of the Bundesliga’s longest unbeaten streaks at home.
That will be no mean feat for the hosts, as Dortmund boast the league’s most lethal goalscorer in their ranks: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Gabon international has 17 Bundesliga goals already this term and has only failed to score in two matches in 2015/16. Aubameyang is famed for his blistering pace but this season he has added clinical finishing to his repertoire as part of a fearsome BVB side that is averaging 2.85 goals per game.
Dortmund may be seven points ahead of their hosts going into this fixture, but they will be wary of Wolfsburg’s new-found resilience this season. Hecking’s side have not yet hit the spectacular heights of their enthralling attacking displays in the second half of 2014/15, but they do have a knack of grinding out good results when they need to: a 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen on Matchday 11 and a 1-0 triumph over Darmstadt 98 on Matchday 10 are just two recent examples.
Dante has been a mainstay alongside Brazilian compatriot Naldo in the centre of Wolfsburg’s backline since joining from Bayern at the end of August, but here he will miss just his second league game for the Wolves after being sent off against FC Augsburg last weekend. His suspension will give Timm Klose a chance to stake a claim for a more regular berth in the side, but with Aubameyang currently flying, the Swiss defender will need to shake off the cobwebs in a hurry.
Reus’ favourite opponent
Aubameyang is not the only player Wolfsburg will need to keep an eye on, as Marco Reus clearly enjoys facing the green-and-whites: in his last seven games against them, the Germany international has scored seven times. And with seven goals and an assist in 11 matches already this term, Reus is at his menacing best.