Preview: Borussia Dortmund v Werder Bremen

Borussia Dortmund will be hoping to clinch third position in the Bundesliga standings when they host Werder Bremen in their final league game on Saturday.

Date: 20 May 2017
Match Day 34
Kick-off: 15H30 (GMT+2)
Venue: Signal-Iduna-Park

Referee: G. Perl
Assistants: T. Stein, M. Emmer
Fourth official: F. Badstübner

Head-to-head summary:

Dortmund 98 42 16 40
Werder Bremen 98 40 16 42

Previous encounter:

Werder Bremen 1-2 Dortmund 21/01/17 (Bundesliga)

Werder goalscorers: F. Bartels (59′)
Dortmund goalscorers: A. Schürrle (5′), L. Piszczek (71′)

Players to watch:

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is chasing Robert Lewandowski for the Bundesliga’s top goalscorer award and may be trigger-happy against Werder.

The away side’s top performer in the final third has been Max Kruse who has scored 14 Bundesliga goals and made six assists this campaign.

Team form and manager quotes:

The BVB sit third in the Bundesliga standings, which is the last automatic qualification spot for the Champions League, but only lead fourth-placed Hoffenheim by a superior goal difference.

Thomas Tuchel’s charges are unbeaten in their last five games across all competitions, but have drawn two of their last three Bundesliga fixtures. Their last outing was a 1-1 draw at Augsburg.

Dortmund striker Aubameyang could claim the league’s top-scorer gong should he net twice against Werder as he trails leader Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) by only one goal.

“It’s a team game,” Tuchel said during his pre-match news conference. “It’s clear that team goals are more important than personal goals. But nobody will not allow him (Aubameyang) to score.

“Yet, it’s a team game, and I would like to think that Auba would pass a ball to his teammate when this is what it takes to score a goal.”

Meanwhile, Werder Bremen are still in the hunt for a top-six spot as they trail Freiburg by three points going into the final game of the season.

The visitors, however, are struggling for form. They lost their last two Bundesliga games against Cologne and Hoffenheim, conceding nine goals over the two fixtures.

Werder boss Alexander Nouri recently penned a new deal with Werder, and said in a statement on the club’s official website this week: “Even in February when results still weren’t coming, I was sure our journey with Werder was not over, and I always had the feeling things would get better.

“I’m happy with the confidence the club has shown in me, the support of the fans and the passionate and hungry team I have around me.”

Team news:

Dortmund have one new injury to contend with as defensive midfielder Julian Weigl sits out with a fractured ankle.

Werder have been hit by a string of injuries. Justin Eilers, Santiago García, and Ousman Manneh picked up knocks over the last week.