Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp has warned his team not to underestimate Wolfsburg ahead of Saturday’s Bundesliga clash.
Klopp played down Dortmund’s chances of finishing second this season, despite the fact the club already sit in that position, with just five games remaining.
The North Rhine-Westphalia-based club sit a point clear of arch-rivals Schalke and received a boost when fourth-placed Bayer Leverkusen lost 2-1 to struggling Hamburg on Friday.
But with matches against leaders Bayern Munich and Leverkusen remaining, Klopp is far from convinced his team will finish second, while he is also wary of fifth-placed Wolfsburg, who have won seven of their past 10 matches in all competitions.
“It is a top game in the Bundesliga, Wolfsburg is in good shape and in good form at the moment,” Dortmund’s boss said.
“Regardless they have a strong team, which can threaten.
“It would be a huge step towards second to keep them at bay and behind us in points.”
Dortmund will also host Wolfsburg in a DFB Pokal semi-final on April 15 but Klopp was not interested in talking about that match, while he also emphasised how tough his team’s run home will be in the league.
“We still have to play against Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munchen,” the 46-year-old said.
“Regardless if they are close to us or far away, each and every point is important when going for second spot. If you have the chance to beat a straight competitor, that would be helpful.”
Dortmund (55 points) lead Schalke (54), with the latter set to travel to 12th-placed Werder Bremen on Saturday, while Leverkusen (48) could be leapfrogged by Wolfsburg (47) after their loss to Hamburg.
“With Leverkusen slipping up, Wolfsburg has the chance straight away to jump into fourth spot by beating us,” Klopp said.
“That is a lot of pressure on us for the final stage of a season. But we don’t have to worry, I know my team well and I know they are aware of all these issues.”