Dortmund tries to end skid at Bayern

Munich, Germany (SportsNetwork.com) – Borussia Dortmund is in the midst of a
woeful skid in league play, and generally a trip to the Allianz Arena to face
Bayern Munich is the last thing a club in that position would want.

But when Dortmund visits the defending champions on Saturday the club is
hoping that their rivals are able to spark a turnaround that will end a run of
five defeats from six games in Bundesliga play.

Outside of league play Dortmund hasn’t put a foot wrong, winning all three of
its matches in the Champions League and advancing in the Pokal Cup following a
second-round victory over St. Pauli in midweek.

However, Dortmund’s form in the league has been poor and the club sits just
one point above the relegation places having lost six of nine matches.

That terrible start has doomed any title hopes the club may have had at the
start of the season, and the goal now for Jurgen Klopp’s men will be to finish
in the top four to secure a return to the Champions League for next season.

Injuries have plague Dortmund in the early part of the campaign, but Klopp’s
options are increasing with the return to health of Marco Reus, Ilkay
Gundogan, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Shinji Kagawa.

Bayern got some good news on the injury front as well this week as star winger
Franck Ribery made his first start of the season in a midweek Pokal Cup win
over Hamburg.

Ribery is one of the top playmakers in the world, and his return will boost an
already lethal Bayern attack that has netted 21 goals in nine league matches.

Bayern enters Saturday’s fixture four points clear at the top of the league
after being held to a 0-0 draw last weekend by second-place Monchengladbach,
and the club is unbeaten in nine games, one of three sides left in the league
without a loss.

The other two teams that have yet to taste defeat, Monchengladbach and
Hoffenheim, will square off on Sunday, while Wolfsburg is also level with
those two teams on 17 points and travels to Stuttgart on Saturday.

Bayer Leverkusen is one point back of that trio in fifth place and the team
visits Hamburg having snapped a run of three successive draws with a win over
Schalke last weekend.

Mainz sustained its first defeat of the campaign last time out in the league,
losing at Wolfsburg, and the club will try to bounce back at home against
last-place Werder Bremen.

On Friday, Schalke moved into the top half of the table with a 1-0 win over
Augsburg thanks to a 37th-minute goal from Klaas Jan Huntelaar.

Elsewhere in Germany this weekend, Eintracht travels to Hannover, Cologne
entertains Freiburg and Hertha Berlin squares off with Paderborn.