Amid news of their captain leaving this summer, Borussia Dortmund will take the pitch this Saturday at the Signal Iduna Park against VfL Wolfsburg.
Pretty much locked into second place for the season, Dortmund are still hoping to finish the season on a high note, despite already qualifying for the UEFA Champions League next season. Meanwhile, opponents Wolfsburg have underwhelmed this season, currently sitting in tenth place with a chance to drop lower.
The last meeting between the two teams came back on 5 December at Volkswagen Arena in Wolfsburg. Marco Reus put BVB in front with a first half strike, only to see the host side equalize with a penalty in second half stoppage time. However, Dortmund were determined to take all three points, and a late winner from Shinji Kagawa sealed it for Dortmund.
Recent news around Wolfsburg has circulated around "Lord" Nicklas Bendtner's contract being terminated by Wolfsburg. With the striker gone, depth at striker is now an issue for Wolfsburg. Team scoring leader Bas Dost and Max Kruse headline the forward core for this weekend's visitors.
It's the midfield, however, that is the strength of this Wolfsburg side. Andre Schurrle and Luiz Gustavo control the middle of the park. Schurrle provides an attacking flare and has scored six goals this season while Gustavo adds defensive depth from the midfield position.
Fellow Brazilians Dante and Naldo lead a talented defense core that has done well this season despite the poor point output. Dante is usually the last line of defense for Wolfsburg while Naldo is able to cut off passes and advance the play.
For Dortmund, the key to the game on Saturday will be to press hard against the talented Wolfsburg defense. At the same time, Dortmund must be aware of Wolfsburg attacking prowess, and should defend diligently. With Julian Draxler out of the lineup, Andre Schurrle becomes the man to watch for Dortmund.
BVB will look to overwhelm the Wolfsburg defense with the midfield threat of Marco Reus, and Henrik Mkhitaryan. Head Coach Thomas Tuchel revealed that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as well as Ilkay Gundogan should be in the lineup to face Wolfsburg on Saturday, providing even more attacking options for Dortmund.
Dortmund have not won the double over Wolfsburg since the 2011-12 season, and its looking like the streak will be broken this season. BVB are unbeaten at home while Wolfsburg have one of the worst road records in the Bundesliga.
Wolfsburg Manager Dieter Hecking said he is looking forward to playing in Dortmund, as always, and hopes to prove that the gap in the table is not as big as it suggest.
The match begins on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. GST (9:30 a.m. EST). Follow us on Twitter @FearTheWall for live updates as well as our game stream on the site.