Lucien Favre’s moment of truth as Borussia Dortmund manager has arrived. The Swiss born manager won plaudits for assembling a title challenging outfit within weeks of his appointment. But the Signal Iduna Park outfit has witnessed a seven point cushion atop the Bundesliga standings wiped out in two months of repeated setbacks.
The Black and Yellows latest setback came on Tuesday in a Champions League rubber against English opponents Tottenham Hotspur when they failed to convert territorial supremacy into a tangible result as they fell 0-1 to tumble out of the competition.
That defeat came just four days after Favre’s side fell 2-1 to Augsburg.
Favre must therefore be on top of his wits and at his motivational best for the visit of relegation haunted VFB Stuttgart. At least he can count on his side’s commanding home form which has seen Dortmund remain unbeaten in front of their fans. Visitors Stuttgart will be no pushover and signalled strong intent ahead of this tie by hitting relegation rivals Hannover for dead last weekend.
Should Dortmund trip up again, Robert Kovac’s serial champions Bayern Munich will take outright lead atop the standings with victory at home to Bruno Labbadia’s energetic Wolfsburg.
The Bavarians are in fine fettle, having dispatched traditional rivals Gladbach 5-1 at Borussia Park last time out. Not even the forced retirement from international football of home trio Jerome Boateng, Matt Hummels and Thomas Muller will dampen spirits at the Allianz Arena.
With Eintracht Frankfurt not in action until Monday away to surprise package Fortuna Düsseldorf, Ralf Ragnick’s Leipzig can cement their third position with victory over Augsburg at the Red Bull Arena. Dieter Hecking’s faltering Borussia Moenchengladbach will meanwhile be hoping to get back on track at Mainz.
Werder Bremen get this weekend’s action underway on Friday night at home to struggling Schalke. Patience is running thin for the Gelsenkirchen outfit’s boss Domenico Tedesco after last season’s Bundesliga runners up suffered a humiliating 0-4 reverse at the hands of newcomers Fortuna Düsseldorf.
THE BUNDESLIGA FIXTURES THIS WEEKEND:
-Werder Bremen v Schalke @10:30pm
-Borussia Dortmund v VfB Stuttgart @5pm
-Freiburg v Hertha Berlin @5pm
-Bayern Munich v Wolfsburg @5pm
-RB Leipzig v Augsburg @5pm
-Mainz v Borussia Moenchengladbach @8:30pm
-Hoffenheim v Nuremberg @5:30pm
-Hannover v Bayer Leverkusen @8pm
-Dusseldorf vs Frankfurt @10:30pm