Dortmund hunt win at high-fliers Leipzig to rejoin title race

BERLIN (AFP) – Borussia Dortmund are hunting a win at second-placed RB Leipzig tomorrow (1.30am Brunei time) to get back in the Bundesliga title race while elsewhere two German league records could be equalled this weekend.

Pep Guardiola is the only other Bundesliga coach to have reached the milestone in the same number of games after taking charge of Bayern in 2013.

At the other end of the table, bottom side Schalke could equal the league record of 31 games without victory if they lose or draw at home to Hoffenheim.

In the top match, Dortmund head to Leipzig in the “role of the hunter”, according to Sports Director Michael Zorc, chasing an away win to trim the eight-point gap behind leaders Bayern.

A late Jadon Sancho goal sealed their 2-0 win at home to Wolfsburg last Sunday, but Dortmund are fourth after defeats to Stuttgart and Union Berlin in December dented their title hopes.

Dortmund’s Thomas Delaney and Wolfsburg’s Xaver Schlager challenge for the ball during the German Bundesliga football match in Dortmund, Germany. PHOTO: AP

Dortmund must break their habit of conceding goals at set pieces which has drawn fierce internal criticism.

“Too often we haven’t played grown-up football and our style was bound to see us drop points,” Dortmund defender Mats Hummels fumed in Sport Bild, harsh criticism caretaker coach Edin Terzic regards as “legitimate and productive”.

Up front, Dortmund striker Erling Braut Haaland needs to finish his chances after the 20-year-old fired a blank on his return after a hip injury.

Haaland’s 16-year-old understudy Youssoufa Moukoko is struggling with a knee injury.

Dortmund have lost five of their 14 games this season and Terzic can ill-afford to lose at Leipzig, 10 days before facing third-placed Bayer Leverkusen.

“The whole of January will set the tone for the rest of the Bundesliga season,” Terzic admitted.

Leipzig are on a nine-match unbeaten run in the Bundesliga, including a thrilling 3-3 draw at Bayern last month, and their defence has only conceded nine league goals all season.

Their head coach Julian Nagelsmann is “already planning” the club’s first win over Dortmund since 2017, “because we’re brave enough, in a very good mood” and have home advantage.

Nagelsmann is missing several players as Christopher Nkunku aggravated an ankle injury in training, while new signing Dominik Szoboszlai is struggling with a groin problem.