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Match Preview: Borussia Dortmund - Bayer Leverkusen

Time for revenge

Tottenham Hotspur FC v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - UEFA Champions League Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images

The clash between Dortmund and Leverkusen could be titled "The duel of inconsistency". Both teams were regarded as the two prime rivals for Bayern Munich before the season started but now, after 22 games played, both are entirely out of the title race.

While it's true that Borussia Dortmund isn't where everyone wants them to be, they are still playing a decent season, sitting in third place with a Champions League spot within their reach. The Werkself however have struggled a bit more this season. They are currently in 8th place and in serious danger of not just missing the Champions League but the international spots altogether.

This is exactly why tomorrow's game is so important for both teams, Dortmund want to confirm their recent run of good football with another victory at the Signal Iduna Park, while Leverkusen need the three points to stay within the reach of the top 6.

Thomas Tuchel has almost the entire team at his disposal to get revenge for the 2-0 defeat they suffered in the Hinrunde at the BayArena. Sokratis is back from his cold that he had and it's likely that he'll lead our defense once again. However Sebastian Rode (groin), Sven Bender (torn ligaments) and Mario Götze (metabolic disease) are still out for the foreseeable future. There is no real reason for coach Tuchel to rotate to much, considering that the team played well the last couple games. Bartra has been better which has stabilized the defense and Castro has thankfully reverted back to being a solid box-to-box midfielder. It will be interesting to see if we'll see either Schmelzer or Guerreiro in the starting line-up or maybe even both.

Roger Schmidt is under some pressure to get his team back on track, especially after last weeks loss to Mainz. He'll have to get a result without young CB Jonathan Tah and Hakan Calhanoglou who are both unavailable for the game. Somewhat similar to Dortmund they will field a team full with young talented players like Julian Brandt, Benjamin Henrichs and shooting star Kai Havertz. In addition Ömer Toprak will play against his future club and it will be interesting to see if it will affect him during the game.

Dortmund will have to prove that they learned from the first half of the season and with Castro finally playing well and Guerreiro back in action it might be easier to beat Bayer's famous high press then it was the first time around. Expect a tight game where both teams will play with the knowledge that a draw is not enough.