Bayern Munich fell last week dramatically in Bielefeld. Now they can make amends to their fans by beating old rival, Dortmund. Even on points, Schalke travel to Mönchengladbach while third place Bremen meets Hanover.
One time wallowing in the mud, Dortmund are moving up
Looking at the standings, the Bayern Munich-Dortmund match is lacking any real attractiveness. Munich sit atop the league and Dortmund are dangling in 11th place. But Bert van Marwijk's side is on a run since the start of the second leg -- 3 victories and a draw have drawn the boys in yellow and black away from the shadows of the relegation zone.
Bayern's Lucio and Dortmund's Jan Koller meet at the ball in last September's 2-2 draw at Dortmund
Just when the fans and leaders of the Ruhr Valley club could breathe a sigh of relief for their team on the field, they are faced with more gloom and doom off of it as the club's financial situtation is on the verge of collapsing. But that is nothing that should concern the players at the moment. As goalie Roman Weidenfeller said after their 1-0 victory against Bochum, "We're back."
It is hard to say if that is enough to topple Felix Magath's superstars. Not one current Dortmund player has won a game in Munich -- a stretch that goes back 13 years.
The competition has it a little easier
Schalke 04 don't play until Sunday when they face Mönchengladbach who are still not completely clear of the relegation zone. Gladbach have a more than impressive home record against the "Royal Blues" from Gelsenkirchen, having lost only four times in 32 matches.
Jörg Böhme was once a star at Schalke but was put in the doghouse. Now he hopes to get revenge with his new club Mönchengladbach
One of the players of interest in this match will be Jörg Böhme. The former German national midfielder was sitting on Schalke's bench in the first leg before he was given his papers to Gladbach. There he has a spot in the starting line-up, but is not satisfied with his play so far.
"I can certainly play better," he told kicker magazine, "I lost a half year of play, but I'm positive it will get better."
Schalke coach Ralf Rangnick hopes that won't happen in this match.
Third place Werder Bremen play in Hanover, who find themselves in a bit of a funk at the moment, having won just one game in their last five matches. A worse opponent couldn't be coming as Bremen has lost only one time to Hanover in the last 17 match-ups.
Bremen, on the other hand, are experiencing a renaissance in coming away victorious their last three matches. Thomas Schaaf's side is on a roll and letting the competition know they will be fighting for the title come the 34th week.