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Borussia Dortmund v Augsburg: Tuchel´s men out to keep pressure on Bayern

Having taken a major step towards the Europa League knockout stages in midweek, Borussia Dortmund will look to maintain the pressure on Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich by beating bottom-placed Augsburg on Sunday.

Thomas Tuchel’s men overcame a daunting trip to Azerbaijan to down Qabala 3-1, making it 13 wins from 17 games in all competitions this season.

Gabon international striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang again stole the headlines for the visitors, bagging a hat-trick to take his tally for the season to a remarkable 17 and reigniting speculation that he will be the subject of a bidding war when the transfer window reopens in January.

Dortmund have lost only once this term but still trail Bayern by seven points thanks to the Bavarian side’s record-breaking 100 per cent start to the campaign. 

And that gap could be extended to 10 by the time these two sides kick off on Sunday, with Bayern hosting Cologne 24 hours earlier.

Augsburg, in contrast, have managed just a solitary league win thus far, although like Dortmund, they did enjoy midweek success in Europe.

Having lost their opening two Europa League group games, they secured their first ever European victory away at Dutch side AZ, with Piotr Trochowski scoring the only goal.

Coach Markus Weinzierl will be desperately hoping that the result in the Netherlands can prompt an upturn in his side’s Bundesliga fortunes and they can at least draw some confidence from the fact that they won 1-0 at Signal Iduna Park on their most recent visit in February.

Augsburg still have a lengthy injury list to contend with, however, with forward Shawn Parker and defenders Hong Jeong-ho and Dominik Reinhardt among those unavailable once again this weekend.

For the hosts, meanwhile, both Erik Durm and Nuri Sahin have returned to training, although neither is expected to be fit enough to feature on Sunday.

The latter has yet to make a competitive appearance for Dortmund this season, but that has not stopped him being linked with a surprise return to Liverpool, where he endured a forgettable loan spell in 2012.

Home coach Tuchel will be wary of the toll that the 6000-kilometre midweek round-trip to Azerbaijan may have taken on his players, although he will be reluctant to rest any of his big names given the need to maintain the pressure on leaders Bayern.

Dortmund will inevitably be installed as red-hot favourites, having dropped only two points at home this season, against Darmstadt, while Augsburg have picked up just two points on the road, at Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer Leverkusen.

Fri 23 Oct, 2015
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