Bayer Leverkusen once again extended their unbeaten run in all competitions when they beat Swedish side BK Häcken in the Europa League, increasing their points tally to an incredible 15 from five games.

Last time out in the Bundesliga, Xabi Alonso’s side travelled to the Weserstadion and came away 3-0 winners, ensuring top spot remained theirs in the Bundesliga.

Borussia Dortmund have escaped the fabled group of death in this year’s Champions League with a game to spare and could still yet top the group after earning an impressive 3-1 victory at San Siro.

Edin Terzić and Dortmund will be scratching their heads as to why their resolute, often commanding performances on the European stage struggle to be replicated by the time the next Bundesliga fixture rolls around on the weekend.

Die Schwarzgelben lost in Stuttgart, and looked set for another as Borussia Mönchengladbach went two goals up inside 30 minutes, before Dortmund turned the game on its head to win 4-2.

The visitors have a favourable head-to-head record against Die Werkself. Out of their last ten meetings, Dortmund have won seven. Last season, Leverkusen were beaten home and away.

Past results are one thing, but Terzić will know for sure that an exceedingly difficult 90 minutes of football awaits his side, who are 10 points adrift of their opponents, at the BayArena.

Team news

Bayer Leverkusen

Alonso has the vast majority of his squad to choose from for Sunday’s top-four clash against Dortmund. 

Brazilian fullback Arthur is the only absentee, still out with the muscle tendon injury he sustained on international duty with Brazil U23 in September.

Czech striker Patrik Schick marked his return from injury with a goal against Häcken on Thursday after a long absence, missing most of the 22/23 season. His spell on the sidelines was prolonged with a fresh set-back at the beginning of November. 

Borussia Dortmund

In the press conference ahead of Dortmund’s trip to Leverkusen, Terzić revealed that they will be without Niklas Süle, Salih Özcan and Ramy Bensabaïni, who were dealing with a cold this week and unable to train with the team.

Belgian winger Julien Duranville is still out, and is likely to miss the rest of the Hinrunde.

Third choice goalkeeper Marcel Lotka was sent off against Ingolstadt in the 3.Liga and still has two matches to serve on his four-game suspension for BVB II.

Felix Nmecha is ruled out until 2024 with a hip injury, Terzić said he is likely to return to training in January.

Likely lineups

Bayer Leverkusen

Hrádecký (c); Kossounou, Tah, Tapsoba; Frimpong, Palacios, Xhaka, Grimaldo; Hofmann, Wirtz; Boniface

Borussia Dortmund

Kobel; Wolf, Hummels, Schlotterbeck, Ryerson; Sabitzer, Can (c); Bynoe-Gittens, Reus, Brandt; Füllkrug

Key players

Alejandro Grimaldo - Bayer Leverkusen

Alejandro Grimaldo has arguably been Bayer Leverkusen’s best signing, especially considering it was a free transfer from Benfica.

The newly capped Spanish international has hit the ground running since arriving in Leverkusen, acclimatising to his new surroundings in no time at all, contributing seven goals and five assists in the Bundesliga alone.

Leverkusen’s wingbacks Grimaldo and Jeremie Frimpong have formed an exceptional partnership on their respective sides of the pitch, with the pair heavily involved in the build-up play.

A dead-ball specialist, Grimaldo has scored two free-kicks in the Bundesliga so far this season, including one in Leverkusen’s trip to Bayern Munich.

Showcasing a striker’s clinicality, the 28-year-old has scored four goals in three Bundesliga games in a row.

Mats Hummels - Borussia Dortmund

Dortmund’s defence is a hot topic at the moment, especially this week with the absence of Ramy Bensabaïni and Niklas Süle. 

Dortmund do require some defensive reinforcements and will surely look to strengthen their backline in terms of both quality and depth in January.

However, Mats Hummels proved in Milan earlier this week that he has still got what it takes to perform at the highest level. Winning player of the match, Hummels was colossal on the night.

As mentioned earlier in this piece, Dortmund’s depleted backline will undoubtedly be put under immense pressure by Die Werkself. 

Hummels will have the incredibly hard task of marshalling a defence that has leaked 11 goals in five Bundesliga matches, and try to replicate what he did with aplomb in Milan. 

Match details

Where is the match being played?

The Topspiel is being played at the BayArena in Leverkusen.

What time is kick-off?

The match is due to kick-off at 16:30 (GMT) on Sunday afternoon.

How can I watch?

Viewers in the UK can watch the match on TV via the Sky Sports Football channel, or on the Sky Sports App or website.

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