Borussia Dortmund are hoping to continue their magnificent start to life under new head coach Thomas Tuchel when they travel to play Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Wednesday.
Since replacing Jurgen Klopp at Signal Iduna Park, the former Mainz boss has guided the club to a stunning run of 11 consecutive victories in all competitions, including Sunday’s 3-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen.
Striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been central to that run, with 10 goals already to his name from just 11 appearances.
The 26-year-old is confident this year could see the end of Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga dominance and hopes Dortmund are among the title contenders by the end of the season.
Aubameyang also pointed to his close relationship with Tuchel when asked to explain his impressive early-season goal return.
“We have started the season very well,” he said ahead of the game. “Everybody knows that Bayern are favourites. I am probably the only one thinking this and others don’t, but I think that Bayern won’t win the league this season.
“We have to keep up for the whole season and then we will see how the season will shape up at the end. It is good that we have managed to achieve this winning streak.
“I want to score 20 goals in the Bundesliga this season. That is a target I want to achieve.
“[Tuchel] has managed to make me feel at ease from day one. He gives me the confidence I need. He talks to me a lot.
“We have many exchanges and we work a lot on the videos and we do all these kind of things.”
While Dortmund are flying high with a 100 per cent record at the top of the table, Hoffenheim’s start to the season has not been anywhere near as smooth.
After finishing eighth in 2014-15, Markus Gisdol’s men are without a victory after their opening five matches and sit down in 15th place. They fell victim to a brilliant Yunus Malli hat-trick as they lost an early lead and went down 3-1 at Mainz in their last outing.
Dortmund have generally had the better of the fixture over recent years, although the last two games played at Hoffenheim have ended in draws, including the 1-1 Bundesliga meeting in May.