Seeking to avoid a third successive Bundesliga match without a victory, Borussia Dortmund will take on relegation-threatened Stuttgart at the Mercedes-Benz Arena on Friday night.
The hosts, meanwhile, will be looking to boost their hopes of survival with a third successive league victory on home soil.
After a miserable run of seven defeats and two draws between mid-December and the end of February, Stuttgart have since won two and drawn two of their last four league matches, an upturn in form which has helped them climb out of the relegation zone.
Three of these four games saw Die Roten come from behind to claim at least a point, but the boot was on the other foot against Arminia Bielefeld as a second-half strike from Florian Kruger cancelled out Sasa Kalajdzic’s first-half penalty, forcing both sides to settle for a 1-1 draw last weekend.
Pellegrino Matarazzo’s men will have been disappointed not to have come away with all three points against a fellow relegation-threatened side, but nevertheless, they remain one point above the bottom three with six Bundesliga games remaining.
Three of their final six fixtures are against teams who currently sit in the top seven, including Friday’s opponents Borussia Dortmund, a side that they have failed to beat on home soil since November 2017.
Stuttgart, however, are unbeaten in their last three home league matches, winning their last two by a 3-2 scoreline. Die Roten have also claimed 18 of their 27 points at the Mercedes-Benz Arena this season, so they will relish playing in front of their home supporters on Friday.
Borussia Dortmund’s slim hopes of winning their first Bundesliga title since 2011-12 are seemingly all but over after they suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat at home to Champions League-chasing RB Leipzig last weekend.
A first-half brace from Konrad Laimer gave the visitors a two-goal lead at half time, before in-form attacker Christopher Nkunku added a third just before the hour-mark. Donyell Malen pulled one back for BVB in the 84th minute with a close-range header, but any hopes of a late revival were quashed moments later as Dani Olmo restored Leipzig’s three-goal cushion to condemn the hosts to their seventh league defeat of the campaign.
Marco Rose’s men now sit nine points behind perennial Bundesliga winners and current leaders Bayern Munich, who are in the driving seat to clinch their 10th successive top-flight title.
Dortmund will be confident of returning to winning ways on Friday, as they have won five of their last six meetings with Stuttgart, scoring at least three goals on four of these occasions. BVB are also unbeaten in each of their last six away matches in the Bundesliga, the longest current run in the division.
With no European football or domestic cups to contend with, Dortmund can focus fully on their final six league games, and victory on Friday would see them consolidate second place, where they have finished in five of the last nine seasons.
Stuttgart Bundesliga form:
Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga form:
Borussia Dortmund form (all competitions):
We say: Stuttgart 1-3 Borussia Dortmund
Goals are to be expected on Friday, as the ball has hit the back of the net at least three times in each of the last 15 meetings between these two sides.
Stuttgart have recently shown signs of improvement and have built momentum at a good time heading into their clash with Dortmund, but the visitors will be fired up to turn their fortunes around and they should have plenty of firepower to claim all three points.