New Borussia Dortmund boss Edin Terzic will make his debut in the dugout when his team travel to Werder Bremen on Tuesday, with the crisis-hit Bundesliga giants looking to pick up their first win in four league games.
After former coach Lucien Favre was sacked on Sunday, Dortmund are looking to bounce back from a humiliating 5-1 defeat to Stuttgart which saw them drop out of the top four and cost the Swiss coach his job.
Former Favre assistant Terzic will now take the reins as interim boss until the end of the season, starting with the trip to Bremen.
Dortmund have not lost a league game in Bremen since 2014, yet they travel north with just one point from their last three matches and several players out injured including Belgians Thomas Meunier and Thorgan Hazard and star striker Erling Braut Haaland.Â
Terzic is charged with leading Dortmund back into the top four after recent results saw them fall behind the leading pack of Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig.
“We can’t afford another performance like that,” said captain Marco Reus after the defeat to Stuttgart. “We need to make a statement in Bremen.”
Leaders Leverkusen, who leapfrogged Bayern with a 4-1 win over Hoffenheim to go top for the first time in six years on Sunday, face local rivals Cologne on Wednesday.
Peter Bosz’s side have now won three games in a row and are unbeaten this season, but the Dutch coach warned against complacency on Sunday.
“We’re top after 11 games. If we are top after 34 games then I will be delighted, but we’re not there yet,” said Bosz.
Bayern, who sit just a point behind Leverkusen in second, host the league’s only other unbeaten side Wolfsburg on Wednesday.
The injury-plagued champions may be without Leon Goretzka, who hobbled off the pitch during a 1-1 draw with Union Berlin on Saturday, but are hoping that defender Niklas Sule will return to the fold.
“Niklas had a painful blow to his thigh, but we are hoping he will be back in action on Wednesday,” said coach Hansi Flick after Sule missed Saturday’s game.
Wednesday’s game could see Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski, the league’s top goalscorer so far this season, chalk up his 250th career goal in the Bundesliga.
The Polish star has 249 goals in 331 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern and Dortmund, and is fast approaching the all-time league record of 268 goals held by former Schalke striker Klaus Fischer.
One to watch: Leon Bailey
The Jamaica winger is in blistering form this season and fired Bayer Leverkusen to the top of the table with two goals in a 4-1 win over Hoffenheim on Sunday.
Bailey opened the scoring with a scintillating strike against Hoffenheim before adding another later on to take his season tally to nine goals and six assists in all competitions.
The 23-year-old also picked up an assist the last time Leverkusen met Cologne, setting up Sven Bender’s opener in a 3-1 win back in June.
249 – Bundesliga goals Robert Lewandowski has scored in 331 appearances for Bayern and Dortmund. The Polish striker would become only the third Bundesliga player to reach the 250 mark if he scores against Wolfsburg.
27 – Games Schalke have now played since their last league win back in January. The league’s bottom side are now just four games away from equalling the longest winless streak in Bundesliga history.
4 – Goals Congolese striker Silas Wamangituka has scored in his last two games for seventh-placed Stuttgart, who take on fellow high-fliers Union Berlin on Tuesday.