Berlin: Lucien Favre says his Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund must learn from Bayern Munich’s stumble against Friday’s opponents Augsburg to stay ahead in the tense title race.
With just under a third of the season left, recent poor results have slashed Dortmund’s lead from nine to just three points before Friday’s trip south to Augsburg, where Bayern came perilously close to a shock defeat a fortnight ago.
The defending champions leaked two goals from crosses, including a weak own-goal by Leon Goretzka 13 seconds into the Bavarian derby, and needed two Kingsley Coman goals to draw level before David Alaba scored the winner in a 3-2 victory.
Dortmund had their own close shave at home to Augsburg last October in a seven-goal thriller after replacement Paco Alcacer claimed a hat-trick by drilling home a stunning 96th-minute free-kick to seal a dramatic 4-3 win.
Augsburg sit just above the relegation places, but their winger Philipp Max still found lots of space on the flanks against Bayern and Favre, Dortmund’s head coach, expects a few more surprises from Manuel Baum’s side.
“Augsburg played very well the last time we faced them, they change their tactics regularly,” said Favre. “Against Bayern, they played some high risk football and caused a few problems. Augsburg have a lot of goal chances in every game.”
This will be Dortmund’s final chance to tune up before next Tuesday’s all-or-nothing Champions League clash at home to Tottenham Hotspur with the Germans needing to overturn a 3-0 deficit after being thumped in the last 16, first leg tie at Wembley.
Dortmund hope to welcome back Marco Reus, their captain and chief goalscorer, at Augsburg after missing nearly four weeks with a thigh strain, during which his side went five games without a win.
Augsburg v Borussia Dortmund (11.30pm)
Schalke v Fortuna Duesseldorf, Bayer Leverkusen v Freiburg, Eintracht Frankfurt v Hoffenheim, Hertha Berlin v Mainz, Nuremberg v RB Leipzig (all 6.30pm), Borussia Moenchengladbach v Bayern Munich (9.30pm)
Stuttgart v Hannover, Wolfsburg v Werder Bremen (both 9pm)