Defending champion Borussia Dortmund has climbed to second place and all it can do now is hope for a run of blunders by runaway leader Bayern Munich.
That probably is wishful thinking with Bayern 12 points ahead, but Dortmund has been doing its part not to lose more ground. It beat Bayer Leverkusen to seize second place and has scored 11 goals in three wins since the season resumed. Nine of those have come inside the first 15 minutes, a Bundesliga record.
Juergen Klopp’s team next hosts Hamburg, which ended Dortmund’s 31-match unbeaten run with a 3-2 victory in September. Their matches produce the most goals on average in the Bundesliga and Hamburg will be seeking to withstand Dortmund’s early pressure. Bayern hosts slumping Schalke, also on Saturday.
Dortmund has been distracted by German media reports that have linked its top striker Robert Lewandowski with a move to Bayern. Bayern has refused to comment on what it has described as rumours.
But the problems of Dortmund and Bayern pale in comparison to the fate of Schalke, which has won only one of its last seven matches. New coach Jens Keller has not gained the confidence of fans.
Leverkusen is two points behind Dortmund in third and will seek to avoid falling further behind at Borussia Moenchengladbach, which has not lost in its last seven Bundesliga matches.
Eintracht Frankfurt is coming off a 2-0 win and a victory at home against Nuremberg would keep it on course for a place in Champions League qualifying.AP