Dortmund to play surging Wolfsburg in Bundesliga

Dortmund to play surging Wolfsburg in Bundesliga

FRANKFURT - The Associated Press
Dortmund to play surging Wolfsburg in Bundesliga

Borussia Dortmund’s Japanese attacker Kagawa is drawing attention from top English clubs with his recent form. REUTERS photo

A once discarded striker has come back to rescue Wolfsburg’s season, revive his hopes of going to the European Championship and perhaps play a major role in deciding the Bundesliga championship.

Patrick Helmes has scored six goals in his last six games, helping Wolfsburg go on a four-match winning streak.

Borussia Dortmund is the next to visit Wolfsburg and the defending champions could be knocked off the top of the Bundesliga standings if Helmes remains on target and Wolfsburg extends its run.

“It’s going to be a tough job, but we have no easy jobs left,” Dortmund’s coach Juergen Klopp said. “We are going from one tough assignment to another.”

Dortmund is three points ahead of Bayern Munich, which hosts Augsburg and has a better goal difference.

Dortmund is undefeated in 22 matches, but two draws in the last four games have allowed Bayern to cut the deficit. Last week, Dortmund played to a scintillating 4-4 draw at home to Stuttgart, losing victory in stoppage time.

Bayern visits Dortmund on April 11 and the winner of that match is likely to claim the Bundesliga title.
Bayern may be more concerned with the Champions League since reaching the semifinals, but it is now within striking distance of a treble. Dortmund and Bayern will also play in the German Cup final next month.

Dortmund’s most imminent worry will be to stop Helmes and his forward partner Mario Mandzukic. Wolfsburg is in a four-team tie between sixth and ninth place, with six matches remaining.

Magath’s teams have a history of playing strongly in the decisive stretches of the season and this year is no exception after a dismal start and a remarkable shopping spree in January.

Bayern cannot afford to slip in the Bundesliga if it wants to keep up with Dortmund.