Dortmund chasing record eighth straight win


BERLIN — Borussia Dortmund are looking to set a new club record by claiming their eighth straight victory today when the leaders host Mainz in the German top-flight football league.

Having opened a four-point lead at the top, Dortmund have won all seven matches this year, including a German Cup quarterfinal, and are unbeaten in their last 17 outings.

Dortmund are set to be up against ex-striker Mohamed Zidan who is looking to score for the fifth consecutive match having netted in all four league games since his switch to Mainz in January from the German champions.

With 52 points to their credit, Dortmund have almost double the amount of points of Mainz.

But the Rheineland club are on the rise and are unbeaten in their last five games after enjoying a 4-0 drubbing of Kaiserslautern last Saturday and Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp says his team must be on their guard.

“We’ll be meeting a self-confident opponent who is trying to come up with something for this game,” said Klopp.

Klopp is hoping to have Poland striker Robert Lewandowski fit after he pulled out of his country’s goalless draw against Portugal on Wednesday with a thigh problem.

Midfielder Sven Bender could also play, despite a heavy kick in last weekend’s 3-1 win over Hanover which left him with a bloody face while captain Sebastian Kehl is serving a one-match suspension.

Second-placed Bayern Munich are at Bayer Leverkusen today and are waiting on the fitness of several stars including Franck Ribery. The Frenchman suffered a deadleg injury in his nation’s 2-1 win over Germany in Bremen on Wednesday when a few fellow Bayern stars also picked up knocks.
Defender Holger Badstuber and Jerome Boateng both have back problems while Thomas Mueller has returned from Germany duty with a hamstring problem.

“Now we have to wait and see how things look after the recovery training,” said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes.

Leverkusen have concerns of their own as forwards Andre Schuerrle, Eren Derdiyok and defender Vedran Corluka face a race against time to be fit after they all return from international duty with knocks.

Third-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach have a good chance of picking up points to stay in the title race when they are at mid-table Nuremberg, while fourth-placed Schalke 04 are at bottom side Freiburg.
Kaiserslautern striker Itay Shechter is expected back from injury for his side’s match against VfL Wolfsburg after the Israel international was the victim of a verbal race attack at training last Sunday.

A group of around 10 fans shouted anti-Semitic slogans at the forward last Sunday and gave the Nazi salute, which is banned here, and the club reported the incident to police.

The incident was condemned by both the German Football Federation (DFB) and the Israeli embassy in Berlin. Shechter has been out for a fortnight with a thigh injury and missed Kaiserslautern’s heavy defeat to Mainz which left them second from bottom in the table.
— Reuters