Second-place Borussia Dortmund host a Wolfsburg side meandering towards the conclusion of a thoroughly underwhelming campaign.
While Dortmund sit nine points behind the perennial leaders Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg are languishing in 13th. Last season’s fourth-best team in Germany have already lost 15 Bundesliga matches this term, compared to just seven the year before.
Here’s everything you need to know about the meeting between the pair with just five games of the season left.
When is kick off? Saturday 16 April, 14:30 (BST)
Where is the match being played? Signal Iduna Park
TV channel/live stream? ESPN+ (US), Sportsnet (Canada)
Highlights? Sky Sport & Bundesliga YouTube
Borussia Dortmund‘s crowded treatment room has squeezed in a few more bodies after a damaging 2-0 win over Stuttgart last Friday. Both Mats Hummels and Raphael Guerreiro picked up knocks which has left their involvement for the rest of the month very much in doubt.
Mahmoud Dahoud also damaged his shoulder, ruling him out of Saturday’s meeting while Gio Reyna went down with a season-ending tendon injury.
Fullbacks Nico Schulz and Felix Passlack are already sidelined with muscular problems while Steffen Tigges (ankle), Thomas Meunier (hamstring) and Mateu Morey (knee) are unlikely to feature again for the remainder of the campaign.
Centre-back Maxence Lacroix was forced off in the final 20 minutes of Wolfsburg’s win over Arminia Bielefeld but is expected to shake off any fitness concerns he may have flagged.
However, the forwards Renato Steffen (knock) and Luca Waldschmidt (ankle) are doubts while the young defender Mickey van de Ven isn’t expected to return from a hamstring injury until the end of the April.
Saturday’s meeting is the 50th Bundesliga encounter between these two clubs, with Dortmund claiming the majority of victories (30) thus far.
Dortmund’s standing in this head-to-head has ballooned during their current sequence of 12 victories from their last 13 league meetings with the Wolves (D1). Wout Weghorst’s ultimately fruitless opener in this season’s reverse fixture ended a nine-game goalless drought for Wolfsburg against Dortmund.
The former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder Alexandr Hleb – a player who made his senior debut in the 20th century – was the last Wolfsburg scorer at Signal Iduna Park more than a decade ago.
Dortmund’s tortuous wait for a full home crowd at the world-renowned Signal Iduna Park came to a thoroughly anticlimactic end at the start of April. RB Leipzig held the hosts at arm’s length before striking in transition to earn an emphatic 4-1 win.
Wolfsburg, with six defeats in their last eight away outings, don’t pose quite the same threat as a resurgent Leipzig, and may well add to that swollen tally of losses this weekend.
Prediction: Dortmund 2-1 Wolfsburg