With the ‘Klassiker’ counter Bayern Munich on the horizon, Borussia Dortmund will want to avoid losing focus against Cologne on Sunday with a title on the line.
While Dortmund have had their fair share of trouble against good sides in recent years, their title challenge has really been undermined by poor performances against the league’s lower strength but spirit.
Led by tyrannical manager Steffen Baumgart, often seen on the touchline in just a flat cap and t-shirt in the cold German cold, neither club shows up. worse spirit than Cologne.
Dortmund have stumbled after their troubled start to 2023 of 10 wins in 10 games ended with a 2-0 defeat at Chelsea, resulting in elimination from the Champions League.
That defeat followed a 2-2 draw at struggling Schalke, when the home side drew level.
Dortmund’s return to winning ways on Saturday will move them ahead of Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga table, for at least one night.
Bayern travel to Xavi Alonso’s unpredictable Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.
Dortmund’s next game after Cologne is against Bayern.
Dortmund have not won a league game in Munich since the 2013-14 season, while still in charge of Jurgen Klopp, one of the reasons why they have been the darling of German football since their last title in 2012.
When Dortmund visited Cologne in October they had the chance to go up but, despite taking the lead, lost 3-2.
The result was on the mind of Dortmund manager Edin Terzic on Thursday when he said “enough warning” about Cologne
Cologne are on a bad run but know that another result against the champions could put them back on track.
After starting 2023 with a five-game unbeaten run, including a draw at Bayern, Cologne have lost three of their past four without scoring, sparking fears of a 12-place finish. may be drawn into a punitive war.
Baumgart said that his side had a bit too much trouble during the famous Carnival celebration of Cologne in February and is paying the price.
“I don’t want to offend anyone, but now I have my experience in the game,” said the manager, who attended Cologne during the Covid pandemic, on Thursday.
“That was not good for us.
“In the future, I will try to do different things.”
The recent change of the French international defender has been reflected in his club, which sits in the top two of the Bundesliga.
Bayern stumbled after the winter break but have now re-established their dominance in the league and Europe.
After scoring the second goal in Bayern’s 5-3 win over Augsburg – his first goal in professional football – Pavard faced the stands and played his medal, an unexpected sight in January when the news broke news that the winner of the World Cup wants.
Pavard confirmed his commitment at the beginning of March, saying Bayern “can achieve great things this season” and “I will not leave the ship in the middle of the journey”.
6 – Bayern Munich’s Sadio Mane has six unbeaten goals this season, the most of any player in Europe’s top five leagues.
0 – Hoffenheim are the only club in the bottom five to lose in the last round and are dead last with 19 points.
6/7 – Bayern have won six of their last seven against Leverkusen, a streak that includes the 2020 German Cup final.
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