Borussia Dortmund vs Bayer Leverkusen Preview: Der BVB look to continue impressive home form against top six hopefuls

Borussia Dortmund vs Bayer Leverkusen Preview: Der BVB look to continue impressive home form against top six hopefuls

Thomas Tuchel's men can hold down their place in the top three with a win against an inconsistent Leverkusen side.

Jack McGraghan

Tomorrow afternoon sees two clubs that hope to be playing European football next season clash, as Borussia Dortmund take on Bayer Leverkusen at Signal Iduna Park.

The hosts have climbed to third place in recent weeks and will be looking to hold down their place in the automatic UEFA Champions League spots with a win whilst the visitors lie in eighth and six points outside of the Europa League play-off spot.

Home form has been crucial to Dortmund's season

One thing that has been a constant over the course of the season for Thomas Tuchel's side in all competitions has been their impressive performances in front of the famous yellow wall.

Der BVB have only lost once at Signal Iduna Park this season and that came in the DFL Super Cup final as they succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of league leaders Bayern Munich, although they remain undefeated in their last 31 home games in the Bundesliga.

Their last 10 home games have seen a total of nine wins and one draw including the 8-4 thriller against Legia Warsaw in the Champions League, and their last home match was a 3-0 win against Wolfsburg in what was a peculiar atmosphere with the yellow wall absent due to crowd trouble against RB Leipzig.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is of course the star man in a yellow and black shirt with 19 league goals this season making him the joint top scorer alongside former Dortmund man Robert Lewandowski and the Gabon international could prove pivotal in tomorrow's game as he so often does.

Calhanoglu is a huge miss for Bayer 04 in the final third.

Bayer 04 hoping to rectify their inconsistent form of late

Whilst their opponents have shown great consistency this season Bayer Leverkusen have shown the opposite a frustrating number of times, with their inconsistent results and performances ultimately the reason they lie outside of the European places as of this moment.

Their last five Bundesliga matches have seen three wins and two defeats, with their most recent fixture a disappointing 2-0 home defeat to Mainz 05 as two goals in the first 11 minutes from the visitors proved too much for Bayer 04 to come back from.

The loss of Hakan Calhanoglu has certainly been a big one for Roger Schmidt's side, who are struggling to replace the creativity and added goal threat that the Turkish midfielder provided before his suspension.

There is no denying that striker Javier Hernandez always offers a significant goal threat for Bayer 04, and he is a man that Dortmund cannot afford to underestimate come tomorrow afternoon.

Team news

The hosts have defenders Sokratis and Matthias Ginter potentially unavailable due to illness although Tuchel hopes that he will be able to select at least one of the two tomorrow, whilst Sven Bender, Sebastian Rode and Mario Gotze will all play no part in the game.

Leverkusen have the majority of their squad available to choose from with left-back Wendell returning from his one match ban, meaning that Calhanoglu and Jonathan Tah are the only two expected absentees from the team sheet.

Predicted line-ups

Borussia Dortmund (4-1-4-1): Burki; Durm, Bartra, Sokratis, Piszczek; Weigl; Guerreiro, Castro, Dembele, Reus; Aubameyang.

Bayer Levekusen (4-2-3-1): Leno; Wendell, Dragovic, Toprak, Henrichs; Bender, Kampl; Bellarabi, Volland, Havertz; Hernandez.