STAR PREVIEW Sun: SC Paderborn v Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund’s loss to Bayern Munich may have put a title challenge beyond their reach – they are now seven points back with six games to play – but Lucien Favre’s side can bounce back with victory at Paderborn today.

There will be an inevitable disappointment at the defeat in midweek, but for all that Bayern couldn’t be called anything but deserved winners, Dortmund did not play at all badly. Erling Braut Haland nearly gave Dortmund the perfect start when he beat Manuel Neuer only for Jerome Boateng to hack the ball off the line, and Dortmund then put the ball in the net when Thorgan Hazard headed in, but an offside earlier in the move ruled that effort out. Bayern did grow into the game after that, but Dortmund didn’t crumble and in the second half they were arguably unlucky not to have a penalty when Thorgan Hazard’s shot brushed Jerome Boateng’s arm.

They just lost out to the best side in the country and motivation after such a defeat should come from the fact there’s still Champions League places to fight for – at the time of writing, Mochengladbach (53 points), RB Leipzig (55 points), and Leverkusen (56 points, albeit having played one game more) are all within touching distance of their second place.

Erling Braut Haland is doubtful for this game, and that is a worry – but it looks likely that Lucien Favre will be able to call upon Jadon Sancho from the start and his presence should go some way to compensating for the gap left upfront as he links with Thorgan Hazard.

SC Paderborn v Borussia Dortmund
17:00 BT Sport 1 / BT Sport Ultimate HD

(Maximum 10 matches, since 2010)
NOV 2019 BUNDESLIGA Borussia Dortmund 3-3 SC Paderborn
OCT 2015 GERMAN CUP Borussia Dortmund 7-1 SC Paderborn
APR 2015 BUNDESLIGA Borussia Dortmund 3-0 SC Paderborn
NOV 2014 BUNDESLIGA SC Paderborn 2-2 Dortmund

For a side that’s currently bottom of the table, Paderborn have made a respectable start to life behind closed doors – they’ve drawn all three of their games – but Fortuna Düsseldorf (5 points) and Werder Bremen (4) have outperformed them whilst also facing the drop. Steffen Baumgart has a dilemma – he could stick with the much more cautious approach that’s earned his side three points since the Bundesliga returned, or return to the more expansive style that they’d used earlier.

Dortmund may have to prepare for a rear-guard effort from Paderborn again, but they showed plenty of grit to get around Wolfsburg when they fronted up physically and ought to be good enough to find some way through in a match between the bottom placed side and the second placed side, with Dortmund having the benefit of no fans that has seen so many away victories in the Bundesliga so far, and they can prove too good.

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