| Bayer Leverkusen
||vs|| Borussia Dortmund
ScheduleSaturday, 31 January 2015 at 16:30 GMT / 16:30 UK / 22:00 IST
Next Saturday, 31st January 2015, the former European champions, Borussia Dortmund, will travel to North Rhine-Westphalia to measure forces with Bayer Leverkusen at BayArena for round 18 of the Bundesliga, on a match of the utmost importance for the visitors that are surprisingly sunk, along with Freiburg, at the bottom of the table with just 15 points from 17 rounds.
The current season has been a complete nightmare for Dortmund’s always faithful supporters. Jürgen Klopp’s boys have been having a campaign to forget so far and they are seriously risking to face the ghost of relegation if they failed to improve, now that the Winter break is gone. With just four wins in 17 matches, Dortmund need an urgent win to motivate the troops and the upcoming clash against Bayer Leverkusen might be perfect for that particular purpose.
On the last round, which took place on 20th of December 2014, Dortmund were defeated at Werder Bremen by 2-1 and changed places with the Die Werderaner at the bottom of the Bundesliga table. Something is very wrong with Dortmund this season and one cannot blame lack of motivation or low morale levels alone as the causes behind such underachieving overall performance. Jürgen Klopp’s 4-2-3-1 style seems to be worn out but so far the charismatic German manager has failed to implement any fresh ideas into the team’s game. The constant injury problems are also an issue that has been affecting the team’s productivity, as Dortmund is constantly deprived from some of their most important footballers due to long term injuries.
For the upcoming match at BayArena, Dortmund’s boss will not be able to rely on the contribution of the experienced midfielder Sebastian Kehl, nor with the services of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Erik Durm, Adrian Ramos, Sven Bender and Kevin Grosskreutz, all sidelined due to injury.
As for Bayer Leverkusen, although they have been having a good overall performance so far, they have already experienced some complicated moments this season. The historical German side are currently on the 3rd place of the table, 17 points behind the league leaders, Bayern Munich, and six points behind Wolfsburg, who occupy the second place of the table.
On their last match before the Winter break, Bayer conceded a home draw against Eintracht Frankfurt and, at the same time, allowed Wolfsburg to increase their point advantage.
For the upcoming match against Dortmund, Bayer’s manager, Roger Schmidt, will probably not be able to count on the services of the Croatian defender Tin Jedvaj, who is still recovering from a recent injury.
Since they are playing at home and given the state of calamity that Dortmund have been finding themselves in, Bayer Leverkusen are favourites to win next Saturday’s match.
Stats: W-2 L-1 D-2
Recent Form - LWDWD
Stats: W-3 L-1 D-1
Recent Form - DWWWL
Bayer Leverkusen (4-2-3-1) - Leno - Hilbert - Spahic - Toprak - Wendell - Rolfes - Bender - Hakan Çalhanoglu - Son - Bellarabi - Kiessling
Borussia Dortmund (4-2-3-1) - Weidenfeller - Piszczek - Subotic - Hummels - Schmelzer - Sahin - Jojic - Gundogan - Reus - Kagawa - Immobile