Preview: BVB Dortmund v VfL Wolfsburg

An under-fire Borussia Dortmund will aim to get back to winning ways when they host Wolfsburg in a Bundesliga clash on Saturday.

Date: 18 February 2017
Match Day 21
Kick-off: 16H30 (GMT 2)
Venue: Signal-Iduna-Park

Head-to-head summary:

Dortmund 41 22 9 10
Wolfsburg 41 10 9 22

Previous encounter: 

Wolfsburg 1-5 Dortmund 20/09/16 (Bundesliga)

Wolfsburg goalscorer: Daniel Didavi (53')
Dortmund goalscorers: Raphael Guerreiro (4'), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (16', 62'), Ousmane Dembele (58'), Lukasz Piszczek (73')

Players to watch: 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang still leads the rest of the Dortmund pack with 21 goals so far this term, but he has struggled for form recently and may be benched. This could give the likes of Marco Reus and Christian Pulisic a chance to shine.

Striker Mario Gomez has been good value for Wolfsburg so far this season, since signing from Fiorentina, and has bagged seven goals in 21 games. The experienced forward may be called upon to inspire the visitors' attack once more.

Team form and manager quotes: 

Dortmund have lost some momentum recently after suffering back-to-back defeats in their last two games. Bottom-of-the-table Darmstadt shocked the BVB 2-1 last Saturday before a 1-0 loss away at Benfica in the Champions League on Tuesday. The results mean Dortmund have won only three of their last 10 games in all competitions.

"There has to be a change in our way of thinking," said Tuchel, according to The Star. "We are not only the team playing against RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich (and beating them). 

"We are also the team that plays as we did against Darmstadt. It would be helpful if that could finally sink in."

Meanwhile, Wolfsburg have struggled for consistency heading into this tie. Manager Valerien Ismael's men lost three consecutive games before getting back onto the winning trail with a 2-1 victory over Hoffenheim in the league on Sunday.

"Darmstadt has shown the problems of Dortmund. If there was ever a good time to play in Dortmund, maybe this is now," Ismael told the press ahead of the game.

Team news: 

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang misfiring, Tuchel may opt to drop the star striker and make way for either Andre Schurrle or Christian Pulisic, while Mario Gotze could be back on the bench after recovering from an injury.

Despite a terrific second-half display against Hoffenheim a week ago, Ismael has stated that Daniel Didavi is not yet ready to play 90 minutes for Wolfsburg. Jeffrey Bruma could, however, return to the starting XI after suspension.

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