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Leverkusen looking for successive win over dismal Dortmund

With speculation circling Borussia Dortmund star centre half Mats Hummels, there couldn’t be a worse time to play third-placed Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen, who are 11/8 with Coral to take three points.

Every media report featuring Dortmund this season seems to carry a recurring theme. That they are having an uncharacteristically bad season is a phrase that has become commonplace.

There is ‘bad luck’ and then there is simply not deserving to be higher than they are, currently second from bottom. It show quite clearly that Robert Lewandowski was carrying them last season, and they have struggled to replace his goals.

Although this is both clubs’ first fixture back, after a month’s winter break, Dortmund still haven’t won since the beginning of December, when they beat Hoffenheim 1-0 through an Ilkay Gundogan goal. The midfielder is 10/3 to net anytime.

Meanwhile, the last player to score for the club was Hummels, who is said to be attracting interest from Manchester United in the transfer window. The World Cup winner is 11/2 to net anytime.

New signing Kevin Kampl could feature with the German-born Slovenian having moved from Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg earlier this month, and the attacker is 9/1 to break the deadlock. In an interesting sub-plot, Leverkusen manager Roger Schmidt coached Kampl at Die Roten Bullen, so no doubt has the measure of him.

Meanwhile, Marco Reus was dubbed as one player who could potentially replace Lewandowski’s goals and is 2/1 in the anytime market, having hit six in 11 matches across all competitions this term.

Despite Dortmund’s decline, the club’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke maintains that Klopp is still the right man for the job.

“Maybe I am stubborn or pig-headed — but if something functions that well for six years, it can’t just be that it’s not the case in the seventh year,” he told German media.

“We all have the same opinion — there is absolutely no reason to doubt Jurgen Klopp.”

Leverkusen beat their opponents 2-0 earlier on in the season, with seasoned striker Stefan Kiessling getting on the scoresheet. The 31-year-old is 9/5 to net anytime again, and was on target in Leverkusen’s last away match before the winter break as they recorded a 1-0 victory over Hoffenheim .

Last term, the hosts won and drew against Jurgen Klopp’s men, with robust midfielder Lars Bender dispatching in the home fixture, and is 7/2 to strike anytime.