Dortmund planning to extend unbeaten run
BERLIN - Reuters
Borussia Dortmund has won 10 of its last 11 games in the German league.Bundesliga leader Borussia Dortmund, in formidable form, will be looking to extend its unbeaten run of 21 league games against VfB Stuttgart tonight.
Playmaker Mario Götze has returned to training after more than two months out with a groin injury and extended his contract to 2016 this week, but will not play against Stuttgart.
However, the 19-year-old Germany international’s imminent return will only boost Dortmund’s chances of a second successive league title.
“As things stand now everyone else is fit and ready for Stuttgart,” said Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp, who will also be without injured Felipe Santana.
Götze was key in last season’s title run and had been outstanding until his injury in late January. His comeback in time for what could become a title decider against second-placed Bayern Munich on April 11 is good news for the champions.
Five points clear of Bayern with seven games left, Dortmund takes on Stuttgart having won 10 of its last 11 league matches and extended its unbeaten run to 21 games. It could open up an eight-point lead, with Bayern in action tomorrow.
The Bavarians have been in spectacular form themselves and enjoyed a 2-0 Champions League quarter-final first-leg win at Olympique Marseille on March 28.
They are expected to have an easier task at relegation-threatened Nuremberg in their Bavarian derby but sports director Christian Nerlinger warned that the crowded schedule, which also includes a German Cup final against Dortmund in May, could take its toll.
Bayern, chasing a treble of titles, has won their last three league games, scoring 15 goals in the process, and is on track for a Champions League semifinal clash with Real Madrid.
“We will need to reach our limits for the next four or five weeks,” Nerlinger said. “That will be a mental as well as physical challenge. We are in the final stretch in all competitions and the team is motivated.”
On Apr. 1, third Schalke 04, on 53 points, four behind Bayern, travels to Hoffenheim while Mönchengladbach, on 51, is at Hanover 96.