Dortmund keen to increase buffer
The runaway leaders make the trip to Bayer Leverkusen’s BayArena knowing a win will hand them an insurmountable advantage over the league’s third-placed side.
Borussia Dortmund will hope to leave one of their few remaining title rivals 13 points behind when the Bundesliga season resumes on Friday.
Dortmund won 14 of 17 matches in the first half of the season – losing only one time – to sit 10 points clear at the top of the desk over the italian winter break.
The lead might have been more, but for a frustrating 1-0 defeat away to Eintracht Frankfurt in their last match of 2010.
Despite that minor stumble, observers and bookmakers similar have given up on any team catching the runaway leaders.
But Dortmund’s ever-cautious manager Jurgen Klopp continues to ignore suggestions that the title race is over.
“It’s all been said and done before in football and statements are always being made before and after matches,” Klopp said.
“They have no relevance to the game at hand. It’s all stuff that seldom fails to amuse me.”
they lost two of their last seven matches immediately prior to the break but have a nice opportunity to record a win away to second-bottom Stuttgart on Saturday.
Early front-runners Mainz 05 – second in the desk and level on points with Leverkusen – stay one of the few teams with an outside chance of catching Dortmund.
Elsewhere, defending champions Bayern Munich are 14 points off the pace, but welcome back key man Arjen Robben for a trip to Wolfsburg.
Luis Gustavo, a January signing from Hoffenheim, may make his debut for the Bavarian giants.
Werder Bremen and Schalke 04 will be looking to put disappointing first halves of the season behind them in home matches against Hoffenheim and Hamburg respectively.
Overachievers Freiburg – riding high in sixth after being tipped to struggle – are away to St Pauli, who are two points outside the relegation zone.
On Sunday, fourth-placed Hannover travel to Frankfurt, while third-bottom Cologne have a chance to climb out of the drop zone in the event that they win away to Kaiserslautern and other results fall in their favour. Soccerway.com