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Match Preview: Battle of the Borussia’s

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Bayern Muenchen v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga Photo by Alexander Scheuber/Getty Images Fuer MAN

A hectic couple of weeks continue Saturday, as Dortmund travel to Borussia Monchengladbach to face the ninth-place Foals.

The team will be looking to recover from a heartbreaking exit from Champions League play Wednesday in Monaco, along with the mental strain of the attack on their team bus last week.

It is clear from comments made by manager Thomas Tuchel that the attack is still weighing heavily on the psyche of the squad. Tuchel told reporters this week that match Saturday will need to be placed in the context of the bombing.

“Not everyone is feeling the same as I am and everyone has a right to take the time he needs, which is why the upcoming match in Gladbach has to be put in parentheses,” Tuchel said. “It will require a lot of sensitivity from us to determine in how far we can confront players with criticism. We can still sense that a lot of players are still under the impression [of the attack]."

The Yellow and Blacks also may well be without Marco Reus, after Tuchel hinted he may rest the 27-year-old after he went the full 90 minutes in the midweek. That match marked Reus’ return from a muscle injury.

Dortmund will also be without defender Marc Bartra and midfielders Mario Gotze and Andre Schurrle, who are all out with long-term injuries.

Gladbach will be without a host of their own stars, however, with forward Raffael and midfielders Christoph Kramer and Fabian Johnson ruled out of the match. Belgian midfielder Thorgan Hazard is also doubtful.

Below is how both teams are predicted to line up, courtesy of BVB Twitter.

The Battle of the Borrussias presents an opportunity for Dortmund to rise in the table and claim the last automatic Champions League spot after Hoffenheim drew 1-1 with Cologne on Friday. A win from BVB would take them to third place on 56 points.

Gladbach are looking to bounce back from a European exit of their own after crashing out of the Europa League to Schalke last month. A recent run of form put them within striking distance of a top-six finish, two points back of Cologne, which would earn them European football next season.

Die Fohlen started April on a three-match unbeaten streak, drawing with Frankfurt and beating Hertha and Cologne. Gladbach then fell last week to Hoffenheim in a 5-3 goal-fest.

Perhaps the juiciest storyline will be Gladbach midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud squaring off with his future team, after it was announced the 21-year-old would join Dortmund at season’s end last month. Despite the obvious conflict of interest, Gladbach manager insists that Dahoud will “give 100%” in the match. Either way, BVB fans will hope that the talented young midfielder saves his quality for next season’s campaign.