Becoming Runners-Up? On Saturday Borussia Dortmund have got their first chance to become runners-up. With six points ahead of local rivals Scha*ke 03+1 and still three matches to go, they could convert their first match point. Nevertheless, Bayer 04 Leverkusen is going to be a tough obstacle due to the fact, that they are still battling for Champions League qualification with Wolfsburg and Gladbach - the last mentioned have only an outside chance. There is, therefore, every indication that both teams will not surrender without a fight.
Even on Strobelallee there are no signs, that casualness could become a main talking point during the last part of the campaign. "We don't have the feeling that something is already over. We're at the end of this year's campaign, our final is in Berlin, nevertheless there are still nine points to gain and I've got no idea why we shouldn't try to win these matches," Klopp told on Thursday. According to Klopp it is going to be an intense game with both sides hardly trying to win the match. "You don't need the opportunity to win a title, to give all you've got to win a Bundesliga match," he added.
What should BVB expect?
Bayer 04 Leverkusen are this year's Bundesliga question mark. While they outplayed the majority of Bundesliga teams during the first half of the campaign and gained an brilliant amount of 37 points, they were only able to win five matches during the second half of the season (17 points). In the end, what would happen would happen. So two weeks ago, Leverkusen decided to sack Sami Hyypiä and reinstall Sascha Lewandowski who will return to Leverkusen's youth section after the season. But, watch out! The performances during the last months are definitely not a good index of their capability.
Anyhow, Coach Jürgen Klopp does not ascribe importance to the change of manager that much: "The type of sport didn't change. You're not able to change the whole game within two weeks. We've seen the last two matches and analyzed them." Still, BVB will not bother anyone. "Leverkusen are a club with a lot of high indivdual qualities. They lost this aspect a bit during the last months, but we know that they were far away from us in respect of points during the first half of the season. They changed the manager due to the continuing result crisis and the outcome speaks for itself," Klopp said. "We can't reinvent football in 14 days as well as Leverkusen can't."
News from the Sickbay
Roman Weidenfeller, who had to rest against FSV Mainz 05 due to a problem with his adductors, will return to his working environment. Sebastian Kehl will be out for approximately two weeks because of a muscle injury. This seasons youngsters Erik Durm suffers from a strain, his appearance on Saturday is unlikely, even though Klopp told Durm's participation is "not impossible".
Marcel Schmelzer already participated halfway in squad training, nevertheless he is no candidate for the starting XI after his long absence. If you ask me, sliding Kevin Großkreutz to the left-back position seems to be the first option for Leverkusen. According to Klopp, Sven Bender will able to join team training during this year's campaign and to participate in at least one of the last matches - including the cup final. "As I've already told, Ilkay Gündogan is still not back in training, this is why he won't be able to participate in any of our matches this season. In respect of the World Cup we will hopefully make avaible nearly all of our players in a good shape - then Jogi Löw has to decide which of them he is going to nominate," Klopp said on yesterday's presser.
Pleasant things we can also report from Polish international Jakub Blaszczykowski: "Kuba feels really good. He is positive since the first day of his injury and is currently working on his rehabilitation. Together with Neven Subotic he seizes the opportunity to work on his problematic areas. Everything is going well with them."
What remains to be said? We are facing a sunny weekend with a lot of football - enjoy!
Bayer 04 Leverkusen: Leno - Hilbert, Toprak, Spahic, Boenisch - Bender, Can - Brandt, Castro, Son - Kießling.
Substitution's Bench: Lomb - Cacutalua, Stafylidis, Wollscheid, Öztunali, Rolfes, Sam, Derdiyok, Ryu.
Missing: Donati, Guardado, Hegeler, Kruse, Reinartz.
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Sokratis, Hummels, Großkreutz - Sahin, Kirch - Mkhitaryan, Reus, Jojic - Lewandowski.
Substitute's Bench: Langerak - Schmelzer, Friedrich, Hofmann, Aubameyang, Ducksch, Schieber, Durm (?).
Missing: Gündogan, Blaszczykowski, Subotic, Kehl, Bender, Durm (?).
Referee: Perl (Pullach).
Kickoff: 26th of April 2014 - 6.30. P.M. CET.
Attendance: BayArena, 30,210 (sold-out).