Borussia Dortmund will look to start to build some consistent form on Sunday when they welcome Wolfsburg to town in what has recently been quite the explosive Bundesliga fixture for them offensively.
Group League Table Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany 14 Jan 2018 5:00 pm (GMT)
Key Stat: BVB have scored three or more goals in each of their last four league meetings with Wolfsburg.
Expert Verdict: If one thing can be stated for a fact it is that Borussia Dortmund know exactly where the goal is. They almost always seem to know that, even when they are playing poorly, which makes them a threat. Curiously, they have had a huge dip in home form this season. This is a worry, but they should be able to overcome Wolfsburg and start to right that ship.
Peter Stoger has had to deal with a flu breakout in the team, but it will have been over ten days when the match kicks off and those players should be recovered. Those set to miss out through injuries are wingers Max Philipp, Marco Reus, and Jacob Larsen, and left back Marcel Schmelzer. Left back Raphael Guerreiro is a question mark.
Despite numerous groups of fans imploring their team to make a move for striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, a move does not look likely right now. If anything the one being mooted is a move to China, which is supposedly near completion. But until that is in stone, we have to believe he will play a major role in this match as he has scored a ton of Bundesliga goals in the past few seasons. This season alone he has 13 in a down year, showing his prowess in front of the net.
BVB have four losses and a win in their last five matches:
3-2 home win vs Zulte Waregem (Friendly)
0-2 win at Fortuna Dusseldorf (Friendly)
2-1 loss at Bayern Munich (DFB Pokal)
2-1 home win vs Hoffenheim
0-2 win at Mainz
Defenders:Piszczek, Sokratis, Zagadou, Durm
Midfielders:Gotze, Weigl, Castro
Forwards:Pulisic, Yarmolenko, Aubameyang
Martin Schmidt will be without former BVB star Jakub Blaszczykowski and defensive midfielder Ignacio Camacho due to injuries.
The Wolves haven't picked up a victory in any of their last three Bundesliga matches, so that will be very much a craved result here. If they are to get that, they are going to need goals and probably a couple of more of them. The best bet for that this term has been Daniel Didavi. The attacking midfielders has put together a spectacular season with five assists and five goals in just half of it so far to lead the team in both categories. Look for him to be their danger man.
Wolfsburg have three wins, a loss, and a draw in their last five matches:
1-2 win at Dynamo Dresden (Friendly)
1-3 win at St. Pauli (Friendly)
0-2 extra time win at Nurnberg (DFB Pokal)
1-0 loss at Cologne
1-1 home draw vs RB Leipzig
Defenders:Verhaegh, Bruma, Knoche, William
Defensive Midfielders:Guilavogui, Gerhardt
Attacking Midfielders:Origi, Didavi, Malli
Borussia Dortmund have ruled the roost in this tie down the years so far. They have taken 24 wins, nine draws, and ten losses in 43 matches. Here's a look at the last five results:
Aug 19, 2017: Wolfsburg 0-3 BVB
Feb 18, 2017: BVB 3-0 Wolfsburg
Sep 20, 2016: Wolfsburg 1-5 BVB
Apr 30, 2016: BVB 5-1 Wolfsburg
Dec 5, 2015: Wolfsburg 1-2 BVB
Bet365 have the following odds available for this match:
Borussia Dortmund are at 2/5 to win, a draw is at 4/1, and a Wolfsburg win is at 13/2.
Borussia Dortmund have had their struggles this season, but they have still figured out a way to remain alive in the hunt for European places. They enter this weekend in third with 28 points after winning their last two Bundesliga fixtures to close out 2017. They are only two off of rivals Schalke in second, but they are level with RB Leipzig and others in the chasing pack as well. Wolfsburg would have hoped to have been part of that chasing pack, but they have once again had a poor season. After coming through a relegation playoff last season, they are once again in a position of bother. They are in 12th with 19 points, having earned just two points from their last three matches, and have just four points over the relegation zone.
At home, BVB have been far from their normal selves. The Yellow Wall typically helps them out, but this season it almost has hindered them. They have 13 points from eight matches so far despite scoring a huge total of 23 goals, showing that they can entertain and frustrate in equal parts. They have four points from their last five home matches, with three of those coming last time out, to underline their struggles. The Wolves have just one solitary away win this season to show little promise here. They have only seven total points from their eight away trips as well, and have just three points (all from draws) in the last five matches.
Both teams to score, via Ladbrokes, is set at 7/10.
Wolfsburg have spent quite a lot of money over the past few years, and yet they have remained in the bottom half of the table for a second straight season. That might change, but it won't begin until after this match- if it does.