FC Augsburg are desperate to engineer themselves more breathing room in the relegation scrap, but will be hard-pressed to put an end to Borussia Dortmund’s unbeaten run in 2016 when Thomas Tuchel's men come to town on Sunday (kick-off 17:30CET/16:30GMT).
Late drama has been the name of the game for Augsburg in recent weeks and while they were on the receiving end in a 3-3 draw with Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Matchday 25, two late goals last weekend helped Die Fuggerstädter steal a share of the spoils against SV Darmstadt 98. Wins have proven hard come by for Markus Weinzierl’s charges, but with just one victory separating them and 16th-placed SV Werder Bremen, dropping points is not an option for the remainder of the season.
That, however, is easier said than done against a Dortmund side yet to suffer defeat since the turn of the year and in fine form on the road. BVB have gone from strength to strength under Tuchel this season and, just five points behind league leaders FC Bayern München, have not given up hope of seizing upon any missteps from the record titleholders.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted a second hat-trick in as many games and Marco Reus bagged a brace as Dortmund eased to a comprehensive 5-1 win over Augsburg.
Matchday 27 – match stats
- Augsburg have won just one of their nine games in the second half of the season – a 1-0 victory over bottom-of-the-table Hannover 96 on Matchday 22.
- Dortmund are the only Bundesliga side not to lose a league game in 2016, picking up 23 of a possible 27 points since the turn of the year.
- No side have shared the spoils as often as Augsburg in 2016 (five draws).
- BVB have not conceded in their last three away games – a total of 302 minutes. A fourth clean sheet on the road would equal a club record set in 1994/95 under Ottmar Hitzfeld.
- Dortmund have emerged victorious in all seven fixtures following a midweek UEFA Europa League outing.
- Augsburg duo Piotr Trochowski and Markus Feulner as well as Dortmund’s Reus could all make their 200th Bundesliga appearances on Sunday.
- Reus leads the league in breaking the deadlock in top-flight encounters this season, having opened the scoring in games on six occasions.
- Tuchel's side have won all eight league games in which Reus has found the back of the net.
Augsburg: Hitz - Opare, Klavan, Gouweleeuw, Max - Baier, Kohr - Esswein, Bobadilla, Caiuby - Finnbogason
Absentees: Verhaegh (illness), Callsen-Bracker (shin), Bobadilla (knock)
Dortmund: Bürki - Ginter, Subotic, Hummels, Durm - Sahin, Gündogan - Kagawa, Castro, Reus - Aubameyang
Absentees: Bender (light training)