BERLIN (Reuters) - Borussia Dortmund must rediscover their winning touch against Bundesliga leaders Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday to avoid losing contact with the top spots early in the season.
The self-proclaimed title contenders have dropped into eighth place, four points off the top, after three consecutive draws. Dortmund gave up leads in all of these matches, raising concerns about their ability to finish games.
Dortmund’s front line, which includes Paco Alcacer, Marco Reus and Jadon Sancho, managed only two goals in those three games, the other goals coming from defenders or midfielders.
“We may not have lost the last few games but they certainly felt like defeats,” said Dortmund’s Julian Weigl.
“Now there are a series of tough games and for us it is important to get as many wins as possible and get back on track. We want to fight for the title this season and that’s our goal.”
Dortmund next play Ruhr valley rivals Schalke 04, VfL Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich, all of whom are ahead of them in the Bundesliga. They are also in action in the Champions League against Inter Milan next week.
Regaining their winning ways will, however, be easier said than done, especially against in-form Gladbach, who have quietly reached the top with a high pressing game and a frontline trio that has been involved in 14 of their 15 league goals so far.
Gladbach’s Alassane Plea, Breel Embolo and Marcus Thuram have been doing the hard work in attack, with Thuram having scored three goals in the last three games and setting up another two in the process.
Gladbach are on a four-game winning run, having scored 11 goals in the process and there is even more good news for coach Marco Rose ahead of Saturday’s match, with captain Lars Stindl set for a possible comeback after a broken leg last season.
“Lars feels good. The tendency right now is that he will be in Dortmund,” Rose told reporters.
Champions Bayern, in third place on 14 points, two behind Gladbach, travel to Augsburg. Second-placed VfL Wolfsburg, on 15, head for fourth-placed RB Leipzig, who are a point behind.
Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Alexander Smith