Dortmund aim to hold off Bayern triumph

Borussia Dortmund head to Stuttgart knowing they need a win to ensure the Bundesliga title remains theirs for at least one more week.

8 minutes into the game...

Defeat or a draw for Jurgen Klopp's men would mean that Bayern could clinch the 2012/13 title with seven games to spare by beating Hamburg on Saturday evening, ending Dortmund's two-year domination of German football.

While Klopp knows he will have to hand over the title eventually, he wants to keep things interesting for as long as he can.

"If there is any congratulating to be done, then I will do it from the bottom of my heart because they have played a phenomenal season, but I would prefer it if that was not the case tomorrow [Saturday]," he said.

His concern is ensuring those congratulations are held back for another week by beating Stuttgart, something his side did not manage in either of their title-winning seasons.

The last four games between the two sides have ended all square, including a thrilling 4-4 draw a year ago to the day.

"It certainly does not look like they fear playing against us," said Klopp.

"Even if we build up a good lead, they still seem to believe that anything is possible against us.

"It's a tough task against a side who are far better than they have appeared to be at the start of this second half of the season."

And when reminded at the pre-match press conference that his personal record in Stuttgart reads just two wins in 15 games, Klopp said: "That has given me even more desire to change things."

Stuttgart have a little more confidence after beating Eintracht Frankfurt a fortnight ago to put some daylight between themselves and the bottom three, but goalkeeper Sven Ulreich knows how quickly things could change, for better or for worse.

"Everything is still so tight in the table," he said. "You can drop as quickly as you can rise so we cannot make the mistake of saying that we are no longer involved in a relegation battle.

"We need the points."

Stuttgart coach Bruno Labbadia is without the suspended Cristian Molinaro while Dortmund are without the injured trio of Mats Hummels. Sebastian Kehl and Jakub Blaszczykowski.



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