Bundesliga Preview: Paderborn v Dortmund

Heading into Saturday's contest that serves as the first league meeting between the two North Rhine-Westphalia teams, it is Paderborn that have surprisingly enjoyed the better season so far. 

Paderborn are playing in the Bundesliga for the first time in their history and have been undaunted by the challenge, with a return of 15 points from 11 games good enough to sit ninth in the German top flight.

Meanwhile, it has been a campaign of struggle for Jurgen Klopp's men, who are a lowly 15th in the table having already lost seven times in the league this season, a tally equal to the amount of Bundesliga defeats that Dortmund in the whole of 2013-14.

Despite Dortmund's dreadful form, Paderborn coach Breitenreiter is under no illusions as to the disparity in quality between the two sides and believes it will be a tall order for his team to claim all three points if the eight-time German champions are able to hit top gear.

"If Dortmund are at 100 per cent, it will be hard," Breitenreiter said.

"If not, we will be there to take our chance."

The bad news for Paderborn is that, while poor performances from Dortmund have been frequent this term, Klopp will be able to once again call on one of his most talented players for the short journey to the Benteler Arena, with forward Marco Reus deemed fit enough to play.

Reus is back to fitness after a third ankle injury in five months and, with striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shaking off a muscle problem and the flu to return to training this week, the pressure will be on the Dortmund attack to perform and put their dismal start behind them.

However, although Dortmund should be able to call on arguably their two best forwards, Klopp has problems at the back with centre-backs Mats Hummels (foot) and Sokratis Papastathopoulos (broken leg) still on the sidelines, meaning that Neven Subotic and Matthias Ginter will likely form a partnership at the heart of the defence.

But full-back Lukasz Piszczek is expected to feature despite a back complaint as Klopp looks for his players to build momentum on the back of their 1-0 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach prior to the international break. That result ended a seven-game winless league streak that included six defeats. 

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1