Borussia Dortmund’s Jurgen Klopp is set to make changes for Friday’s home clash with Hoffenheim, which he describes as a “High Noon” showdown with his side bottom of the Bundesliga.
Dortmund are enduring the worst start to a league season in their history.
Their 2-0 loss at Eintracht Frankfurt last Sunday was their eighth defeat in 13 league games to put them back on the bottom of the Bundesliga table.
But Klopp says his side must show their mettle and has threatened to make changes against seventh-placed Hoffenheim with Dortmund having claimed only 11 from a possible 39 points.
“Friday is our High Noon. We have to show what we are made of,” Klopp said.
“We are trying to find out in training who can withstand this situation and will make our selection accordingly.
“We have a tremendous opportunity to emerge stronger from the crisis, without having been divided during this difficult period.”
With Dortmund already through to the Champions League’s last 16 before Tuesday’s home match against Anderlecht, Klopp knows their problems come down to attitude.
In recent weeks Dortmund have lost to the likes of Hamburg, Cologne, Hanover 96 and Frankfurt, who Borussia would have comfortably beaten last season.
Poland winger Jakub Blaszczykowski and Dortmund captain Mats Hummels are set to return from a knee and sprained ankle injury respectively.
Klopp has been given a job guarantee by Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke until his contract expires in 2018.
The 47-year-old, who led Dortmund to the Bundesliga title in 2011 and 2012, as well as the 2013 Champions League final, has said he is ‘responsible’ for getting Borussia out of trouble.
– Leverkusen out to beat Bayern –
Third-placed Bayer Leverkusen are bidding to become the second team inside two weeks to beat Bayern Munich when the sides meet on Saturday night.
It is more than two years since Leverkusen were the last Bundesliga team to beat Bayern at Munich’s Allianz Arena when they poached a 2-1 win in October 2012.
Bayern suffered their only defeat of the season at Manchester City last week in the Champions League, but the Bavarian giants have an iron grip on the Bundesliga with a seven-point lead.
Germany’s captain Bastian Schweinsteiger is hoping to add to his impressive record of just one defeat to Leverkusen in 19 games as he works his way back to fitness after a knee injury.
Borussia Moenchengladbach’s Lucien Favre is hoping his side can stop their run of three straight defeats when they host Hertha Berlin.
Second-placed Wolfsburg are at Hanover 96 aiming to break their run of five defeats against their hosts to claim another three points and stay at the front of the pack chasing Bayern.
Roberto di Matteo takes sixth-placed Schalke to VfB Stuttgart on Saturday with his side having won just one of their last 14 games in the Baden-Wuerttemberg capital.
New Stuttgart coach Huub Stevens, who has signed a contract until the end of the season, will be looking to prove last Friday’s 4-1 win over Freiburg was no fluke with his team in the bottom three.
Fixtures (all times 1430 GMT unless stated)
Borussia Dortmund v Hoffenheim (1930)
Borussia Moenchengladbach v Hertha Berlin, Hanover 96 v VfL Wolfsburg, VfB Stuttgart v Schalke 04, Cologne v Augsburg, Paderborn v Freiburg, Bayern Munich v Bayer Leverkusen (1730)
Hamburg v Mainz, Eintracht Frankfurt v Werder Bremen (1630)
– Agence France-Presse