Borussia Dortmund are hoping to extend the Bundesliga title race until the final week of the season when they travel to face Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.
Victory for Thomas Tuchel’s men, combined with a defeat for leaders Bayern Munich at Ingolstadt, would mean the battle for top spot goes on after Pep Guardiola’s men were made to wait by a 1-1 draw against Borussia Monchengladbach last week.
Dortmund kept up their side of the bargain with an impressive 5-1 demolition of Wolfsburg, meaning they sit five points behind Bayern with two matches left to play.
BVB have won four consecutive matches, scoring 11 goals and conceding just once as they display fine form in recovering from their Europa League exit to Liverpool as they also build up to the DFB-Pokal final against Bayern on May 21.
The 24 wins and 77 points Dortmund have after 32 matches are both club records. Only twice have those marks been beaten in top-flight history, both by Bayern in their title-winning campaigns in 2012-13 and 2013-14.
Christian Pulisic – aged just 17 – has been in fine form, scoring twice in April and he is loving the opportunity to play at the highest level.
“The first goal was just an amazing feeling, especially a home game scoring in front of 80,000 people,” he told the Bundesliga’s official website.
“I would have never expected something like this a few years ago – even last year – it has just been amazing to have the opportunities.
“I’m so grateful to the coaches that they let me go out onto the field. They trust me and believe in me.
“Everyone tells me how young of a player I am and that it is crazy I am playing, but I don’t see myself as some really young kid with the pros, I just try to be a part of the team and I think it is the best to act like you are one of them.
“He [Tuchel] has helped me a lot along the way. Obviously I’m a very young player and it is nice to have a good coach who trusts you and supports you. He has helped me to become a much better player I hope I can become the best I can be under his reign.
“I want the team to be successful, I want to be a team player whether playing or not playing and have a great season as a team.”
Frankfurt, meanwhile, are deep in a relegation scrap, sitting in the play-off position – level on points with Stuttgart in the bottom two but just one adrift of Werder Bremen and safety.
Niko Kovac’s men have fought hard over the past fortnight, though, winning their last two matches 2-1 after coming from behind. They are now looking to win three on the bounce for the first time since December 2014.
But Frankfurt have only won one of their last eight Bundesliga meetings with Dortmund, losing six – and the reverse fixture saw them thumped 4-1 in December.
Julian Weigl is the first Dortmund player to miss a game through suspension this season having picked up five bookings, while Frankfurt’s Haris Seferovic is also banned.
The visitors will check on the fitness of Lukasz Piszcesk (knock) and Ilkay Gundogan (knee) after both spent time out of training this week.
Key Opta Stats:
– Borussia Dortmund have won 41 of their 85 Bundesliga games against Eintracht Frankfurt (D16, L28) – they have beaten them more often than any other side in the top flight.
– Thomas Tuchel’s men are the only professional side in Germany without a defeat in 2016 (W12, D3).
– This is their longest unbeaten run within a single season since they won the double in 2011-12 – 28 games back then.
– Only Bayern in 2012-13 (43) and Borussia themselves in 2011/12 (41) have had more points from their first 15 games after the winter break than this current Dortmund side (39).
– Eintracht and Dortmund have both come from behind to take 17 points this season – a joint league high. Both sides have recorded five wins from losing positions – also a league high.
– BVB (35) have picked up the fewest yellow cards this season, while Frankfurt (86) have the most.