Borussia Dortmund will be looking to maintain their 2016 winning streak on Saturday when they take on a Hertha Berlin side who could close the gap on second place to seven points with a first victory of the calendar year (kick-off: 15.30CET/14.30GMT).
Hertha were left to rue what could have been last weekend as they let a two-goal lead slip through their fingers in a 3-3 draw on the road against SV Werder Bremen. Head coach Pal Dardai claimed his side could "live with starting the second half of the season with two draws", but if they are to pull off an unlikely return to the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 1999, they'll need to start turning draws into wins.
Meanwhile, for BVB, victories over Borussia Mönchengladbach and, most recently, FC Ingolstadt 04 have seen Thomas Tuchel's side make a promising start to the second half of the season. No other second placed side has boasted as strong a record after 19 games, however, it will ultimately be fixtures against their fellow top four candidates that will determine whether they can maintain or close the eight-point gap on league leaders FC Bayern München.
Borussia Dortmund’s sensational start to the 2015/16 campaign continued on Matchday 3 as they clinched a third straight win - their eighth out of eight in all competitions - by beating Hertha Berlin 3-1 at the Signal Iduna Park.
Matchday 20 - match facts
- In the 58th Bundesliga encounter between Hertha and Dortmund, this is the first time both sides sit in the top three coming into the fixture.
- At this time last season, Hertha and Dortmund made up the bottom two in the Bundesliga.
- The capital city side are unbeaten in their last six games in all competitions and have lost just one of their last nine (a 2-0 loss against FC Bayern München).
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the most prolific goalscorer after 19 games of a campaign for 39 seasons. The Gabon international has scored more often (20 times) than Gerd Müller had in his record-breaking season (18 goals after 19 Matchdays) when the German legend scored 40 in the 1971/72 campaign.
- Dortmund and Hertha boast the most clinical front lines in terms of shots per goal.
- Hertha and Dortmund are the most improved sides in comparison to last season.
Berlin: Jarstein - Weiser, Langkamp, Brooks, Plattenhardt - Darida, Lustenberger - Haraguchi, Baumjohann, Kalou - Ibisevic
Absentees: Burchert (thigh), Allagui (light training), Skjelbred (suspended)
Dortmund: Bürki - Piszczek, Papastathopoulos, Hummels, Schmelzer - Gündogan, Weigl, Kagawa - Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang, Reus
Absentees: Bender (foot)