Table-topping Borussia Dortmund will hope to put a turbulent week behind them when they entertain Freiburg in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Despite overcoming 1860 Munich in the DFB-Pokal in midweek, Dortmund have had to deal with unwanted off-the-field issues involving coach Jurgen Klopp and star striker Robert Lewandowski.
Klopp was given a one-match touchline ban by UEFA on Tuesday following his outburst during the 2-1 Champions League defeat to Napoli on September 18, and will now be forced to sit in the stands for his side's clash against Marseille on October 1.
Lewandowski has also made headlines, with speculation over a potential move to Bayern Munich resurfacing following comments he made in the aftermath of the Pokal win, which was only settled in extra time thanks to goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The striker initially appeared to suggest that he would sign a pre-contract agreement with the Bundesliga champions in January as his current deal runs down, although he has since moved to play down suggestions that Bayern is his confirmed destination.
The issue has provided another distraction for a Dortmund side determined to extend their flying start to the new campaign, but Klopp also has injury concerns to contend with ahead of the Freiburg clash.
"We are very far away from an injury-free selection," he said. "We had injuries before we played in Munich, and that has not improved. Marcel (Schmelzer) has returned to training. Whether it is enough for Saturday, we shall see.
"It's not ideal that Sebastian (Kehl) and Ilkay (Gundogan) are out injured at the same time. We need to be patient with Gundogan, he won't be back until next weekend either.
"Before the Nuremberg game (a 1-1 draw) we played 50 minutes with 10 men (following the red card for Roman Weidenfeller against Napoli in the Champions League). That's why I had the feeling that I must change things.
"Now we have played extra minutes (against 1860 Munich). Let's see what we do."
Despite losing their 100 per cent Bundesliga record with that draw at Nuremberg last weekend, Dortmund will be confident of consolidating their lead at the top of the table, with Lewandowski and Aubameyang aiming to add to their five and six goals respectively so far this term.
Freiburg will travel to Dortmund having finally achieved their first victory of the season on Wednesday, after beating Stuttgart 2-1 in the Pokal.
Matthias Ginter and Mike Hanke got the goals for Christian Streich’s men, and they will now look to carry that form into the league to improve their current position of 17th.
Despite getting a point last time out in a 1-1 draw with Hertha Berlin, Freiburg currently sit second bottom of the table with just three points from six games.
Recent history will be against the away side, who have not beaten Dortmund since May 2010 and have lost the last six meetings between the two sides, including a 5-1 hammering at Signal Iduna Park last season.
Freiburg's Germany Under-21 goalkeeper Oliver Baumann, who recently made his 100th league appearance for the club and signed a new long-term contract on Wednesday, is determined to help his side to a first league win as soon as possible.
"We’re on the right track. Uncertainty is to be expected when so many new players come into the fold, but I think we're well organised," he told bundesliga.com
"We've got to keep fighting and do everything we can to make sure we pick up three points soon."
|9||R. Lewandowski||58' 70'|
|11||M. Reus||35' 45+2'|
|Coach: J. Klopp|
for S. Bender 46'
for M. Reus 62'
for H. Mkhitaryan 62'
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