Some of the BVB squad have had just one day’s rest ahead of tomorrow night’s televised Bundesliga clash with Hamburg at Signal Iduna Park. With seventeen players away earlier in the week on international duty, Dennis Praet played just yesterday for Belgium’s U21s.
Mats Hummels has recently resumed light training following a hamstring injury, but looks unlikely to feature tomorrow. Neither does Kostas Katsouranis who appears to be struggling for match fitness after a physical battle for Greece on Tuesday night. Ivan Perisic (broken arm) and Mario Götze (twisted ankle) are both definitely unavailable.
Dortmund have the opportunity to go eight points clear with a win, though will have played two more than nearest rivals Schalke and Bayern Munich ahead of their fixtures on Saturday.
Hamburg are currently 8th in the league, though they were sat in the top five after the winter break before a recent poor run of form that has seen them win just once in their last six matches. Just four of their remaining ten matches are at home.
They’ll definitely be without fringe centre-back Torben Wacker (torn hamstring), while left-midfielder Marcell Jansen may miss out as he recovers from a twisted knee. A win will lift Hamburg back to fifth, though they’ve only picked up 12 points from 11 away matches this season.
Former BVB player Dede singled-out centre-back Heiko Westermann as the player most likely to thwart Dortmund’s chances tomorrow night, stating that the attackers would have to outplay the 30 year-old in order to create opportunities.
HOME: 4-7 F
Weather: Hail, 2ºC
Referee: Tobias Welz (Wiesbaden)
In the reverse fixture back in October, Dortmund came away from the Imtech Arena with a 2-0 victory thanks to goals from Julian Schieber and Marco Reus. Dennis Praet set-up Schieber for the first inside five minutes, and sent a perfect through-ball on 23′ to Reus who curled a brilliant shot around René Adler from 20 yards.
Tomorrow’s referee is Tobias Welz from Wiesbaden, who’ll be taking charge of his 16th Bundesliga match of the season. in the previous 15, he has shown 27 yellows and 4 reds. He has refereed Dortmund twice already this season; the 3-1 win over Düsseldorf three weeks ago, and a 1-0 win at Nürnberg last October. Neither game saw any player cautioned.
Pre-Match Press Conference
Several local and national journalists were at Signal Iduna Park ahead of Borussia Dortmund hosting Hamburger SV in the league tomorrow night. The assembled media put questions to Grayson Surman about title chances, opponents’ form, and the cup.
Surman was in an assertive mood through the five keys questions, dismissing Schalke’s run-in and stating that his Dortmund side should still be considered favourites for the title. Tomorrow’s match will be Surman’s 100th as a professional manager (W62 D21 L16).
“Schalke may have a game in hand, but they still have to win it, and play us. We’re in the driving seat and that strives us to stay top. A win tomorrow makes the gap eight points and would be a great mental boost.”
“We struggled against Hannover. The break has hopefully freshened up the squad a little, and we can re-focus for the run-in.”
“The anticipation for the [DFB-Pokal] semi intensified when we watched Bayern go through on penalties. That’ll be a fantastic match. Whoever wins that will probably win it outright.”
“We’ll win the title, it’s why I was hired.”