There’s no doubt that Dortmund are pretty much out of the title race with the gap to the top increased to seven points now, and Lucien Favre’s side cannot afford any more slip-ups if they are to push their rivals in the final phase of the Bundesliga season.
Paderborn, on the other hand, are without a win in their last nine league fixtures, drawing their previous three in a row. Following their midweek 0-0 draw against Augsburg, Steffen Baumgart’s men remain rooted to the bottom of the table.
The reverse fixture, played in November last year, saw Paderborn almost pull off a huge upset, having taken a three-goal lead at half-time, only for Dortmund to pull off a late comeback to salvage a point from the game.
Here are the three things to look forward to as Borussia Dortmund travel to Paderborn on Saturday night.
3. Haaland injury massive blow
Dortmund will be without several key figures yet again, added to the injury list this week was star forward Erling Haaland after he left the game against Bayern with a knee injury. It will be a massive blow for Dortmund who don’t have a natural back-up striker and will have to make due with another creative option.
In addition, midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud, who had been enjoying some rare game-time, has been ruled out for the rest of the season. However, Julian Brandt has been in fine form for Dortmund and should start on the left flank this weekend, with Jadon Sancho set to return to the starting XI on the right wing.
2. Paderborn’s fight for survival continues
Paderborn are unbeaten since the Bundesliga restart, but their last win came all the way back in January. They are rooted to the bottom of the table, 8 points behind 16th placed Fortuna Düsseldorf. But there are no easy games at this stage of the season, and Dortmund cannot afford to take Steffen Baumgart’s side lightly.
Paderborn are fighting for their survival in the Bundesliga, and they certainly won’t go down easy. They have some quality players who can hurt the Black and Yellows, as was seen in the reverse fixture. Upfront Streli Mamba, who bagged a brace the last time Paderborn faced Dortmund, will should start alongside Dennis Srbeny. Both the strikers have five goals apiece in the Bundesliga this season.
1. Can Dortmund continue to challenge Bayern?
Favre’s side have the best home record in the division this season, but they have only won seven of their 14 Bundesliga matches on their travels during the 2019-20 campaign. The Black and Yellows were also held on their last visit to Paderborn in the league in November 2014, while the two teams played out a 3-3 draw in the reverse fixture earlier this season.
They will be keen to bounce back from the disappointment of Tuesday’s loss to Bayern. Favre’s side entered the match off the back of six straight league victories, but Joshua Kimmich’s goal saw the reigning champions pick up all three points at Signal Iduna Park.
Leipzig are just two points behind in third position, meanwhile, and there are only four points between fifth-placed Bayer Leverkusen and Dortmund.