Berlin (AFP) – Borussia Dortmund boss Peter Bosz will be fighting for his job once again when his struggling side visit a resurgent Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
The pressure on the Dortmund coach is higher than ever following last weekend’s collapse against arch rivals Schalke, when Dortmund threw away a four-goal lead and saw their miserable winless run extend to six games.
Club chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has warned Bosz to “leave no stone unturned” in his bid to end the crisis at Dortmund. The Dutchman obliged this week, subjecting his players to an extra training session on Monday.
Elsewhere in Germany, Bayern Munich are hoping that Thomas Mueller’s return will see them return to winning ways against Hanover — and with just a three-point lead over RB Leipzig that cannot afford to slip up again.
Here are five things to look out for in the Bundesliga this weekend.
Bosz under the cosh
With the German sports pages awash with rumours of who might replace him, Bosz desperately needs a win against Leverkusen this weekend.
The odds are stacked against him, with both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mario Goetze out of action on Saturday. Aubameyang will be serving a suspension after being sent off against Schalke last weekend, while Goetze is out for up to six weeks with an ankle injury. Meanwhile, Leverkusen, unbeaten in nine games, are brimming with confidence. The good run of form has seen them move to within just a point of Dortmund in sixth place.
Mueller boost for Bayern
Bayern Munich will be boosted by the return of Thomas Mueller as they look to bounce back against Hanover 96 on Saturday.
Last weekend’s defeat to Borussia Moenchengladbach was Bayern’s first since manager Jupp Heynckes returned to the club in October.
Bayern have won all of their last nine games against Hanover, however, and will be even more confident now that German international Mueller has returned to fitness after a five-week absence.
“Thomas is never really a quiet guy, but he is even more fired up than usual for his return,” said team-mate Mats Hummels. “He will do us a lot of good on Saturday.”
No laughs for Nagelsmann
One of the hottest candidates to replace Bosz, Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann says he finds the rumours linking him to Dortmund “more funny than annoying”.
Less amusing is his side’s current form, with Hoffenheim having lost two games in a row ahead of Saturday’s clash with second-placed Leipzig.
“At the moment I have the impression that not every individual is giving everything to make sure we win,” complained Nagelsmann after defeat to Hamburg last weekend.
Gladbach’s Euro dream
Bayern beaters Moenchengladbach will aim to take another step towards their European dream with a win in Wolfsburg on Sunday. Gladbach are now in fourth, and while sporting director has said that the season’s goal remains to finish in the top half, eyes are now turning to a return to Europe where the club have a proud tradition having reached the European Cup final in 1977 when they lost to Liverpool. “Our aim is to qualify for European competition,” midfielder Matthias Ginter told Bild. “We are not yet a top team, but we hope to become one in the course of the season.”
Arp on the up
Hamburg’s 17-year-old prodigy Jann-Fiete Arp is expected to make his fourth consecutive start in Friday’s key relegation clash with Freiburg.
The striker has already netted two goals in six games this season and his form has seen him linked to some of Europe’s top clubs — and helped Hamburg pull two points clear of the bottom three.
Buoyed by last weekend’s victory over Mainz, Freiburg could overtake Hamburg if they take victory on Friday.
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