Borrusia Dortmund welcomes Bayer Leverkusen to the Signal Iduna Park, in the 23rd Matchday of the Bundesliga.
Bundesliga leaders, Borussia Dortmund will face their former coach – Peter Bosz in a must-win match, in order to keep their three-point lead ahead of Bayern on the top of the German league.
Bosz has made a flying start to life at Leverkusen and heads to the Signal Iduna Park on the back of a four-match winning run in the Bundesliga.
Dortmund, on the other hand, are yet to win in February and are without a goal in their last two competitive games.
They have been knocked out from the DFB-Pokal by Werder Bremen and lost 3-0 in the first leg of their Champions League tie against Tottenham.
Winter is Coming ⚔️
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) February 23, 2019
Lucien Favre’s boys also couldn’t keep a 3-0 lead against Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga, as Die Kraichgauer scored three goals in the last 15 minutes of the game, to make the score 3-3.
Dortmund’s captain, Marco Reys together with Lukasz Piszczek have been ruled out of the game. Defender Manuel Akanji is slowly building towards a first-team comeback following a hip injury and may feature, but Christian Pulisic remains sidelined.
Maximilian Philipp and leading scorer Paco Alcacer should be back for Borussia Dortmund.
Karim Bellarabi picked up a knock in the 2-0 win over Fortuna Düsseldorf and will miss the game at Signal Iduna Park.
Lars Bender is doubtful, but Peter Bosz should have the most of his first-team players available for tonight’s game.
Dortmund’s sporting director Michael Zorc attended the press conference ahead of the Leverkusen game together with Lucien Favre, who confirmed that Reus and Piszczek are still injured.
“When we play against Leverkusen, both clubs know each other very well. There are few secrets. This match will depend on which team performs their game the best.” – said Michael Zorc.
“Our fans have been very supportive of us, especially at home in the last few games. We want to win our home games against every opponent and need the stadium, in particular, the south stand, to be energetic.”
"I'm looking forward to the reunion on Sunday and I'm looking forward to being back in that stadium, seeing the fans again, the yellow wall.”
— Bayer 04 Leverkusen (@bayer04_en) February 23, 2019
Peter Bosz admitted that Reus’ absence will be a big blow for his opponents saying:
“Dortmund have played very well this season, but it’s been tougher for them in recent weeks.
“I know how important Marco Reus is for them. When I was there, he was injured. It’s a blow for them that he’s not available, but, to be honest, that’s not so bad for me (laughs). But I’d be happy if he plays after the Sunday game because I enjoy watching him.”
- Dortmund have won only one of the three league matches 13-goal captain Reus has missed this season, drawing the other two.
- BVB have failed to score just twice in the league this season – in goalless draws against the current bottom two, Hannover and Nuremberg.
- Ten of Alcacer’s 12 Bundesliga goals have come as a substitute, including two as Dortmund came from 2-0 down to win the reverse fixture 4-2.
- Kai Havertz has scored three times in five appearances in 2019 and is currently Bayer’s top league scorer on nine goals.
- Bosz oversaw 15 matches as Dortmund coach between August and December 2017, averaging 1.47 points per game (W6, D4, L5).