Borussia Dortmund will seek for the fourth time this season something that they have been unable to achieve: points in the Bundesliga following a big Champions League victory. The Schwarzgelben have yet to muster up a single goal after their international midweek exploit.
This week might not bring different results. Dortmund have to face up-and-coming Borussia Mönchengladbach. The 85th Bundesliga Borussia Derby will be M'gladbach's chance to beat Dortmund on their own turf for the first time in over 15 years. A double-barreled threat will be firing against a makeshift defense, one that might not even have their starting goalkeeper between the pipes.
Dortmund now find themselves in a lose-lose situation. A victory will only progress them out of the relegation zone in the Bundesliga, while more dropped points will continue their downward spiral in domestic competition. M'gladbach have the chance to down their Prussian rivals for good, helping them secure the ever-elusive Champions League spot in the Bundesliga.
Key Player: İlkay Gündoğan
Jürgen Klopp has used Gündoğan sparingly since his return a week and a half ago, but the German international has restored a playmaking role to Dortmund's set-up when he has made it to the field. Midfield control could be the antidote to the Mönchengladbach counterattack. Gündoğan not only gives Dortmund more temperate stability, but could be the playmaker that unlocks M'gladbach's defense. But he's not yet returned to form, so it'd be rather nice if this was the match he chose to do so.
Key Matchup: Max Kruse vs. Sven Bender
Borussia Mönchengladbach has not had a prolific scoring record in the Bundesliga, but half the times they have scored, Kruse has been involved. Kruse will do his best to blot his way into open space, and it will be Bender's job to win the ball quickly in midfield. Without Mats Hummels, the demand on Bender will increase in midfield. If Bender can stop Kruse right in his tracks, Dortmund's chances to keep their first clean sheet in the Bundesliga will increase astronomically.
Borussia Dortmund Injuries and Suspensions
Out: Jakub Blaszczykowski (thigh), Mats Hummels (foot), Ji Dong-Won (knee)
In Doubt: Marco Reus (illness), Nuri Sahin (knee), Roman Weidenfeller (illness)
Borussia Mönchengladbach Injuries and Suspensions
Out: Granit Xhaka (ankle)
Hummels's injury dealt Dortmund another big blow, but their depth should be able to keep the status quo in the Bundesliga. Reus and Weidenfeller both picked up a stomach bug this week and could miss the match, but Nuri Sahin and Oliver Kirch could both be available for team sheet selection. Injuries have not set back Mönchengladbach thus far, but Xhaka's absence will rear its head eventually.
Date/Time: Sunday, 5:30 PM Local, 11:30 AM ET
TV: GolTV (USA & Canada), BT Sport 2 (UK), Sky Bundesliga 1 | HD (Germany)
Online: Sky Go (Germany)