Once again this season, Borussia Dortmund were not quite able to make the big jump to first: for the second time in a row, Lucien Favre's team were in the race to win the league for a long time, but had to settle for second place in the end. "We did our best, but Bayern were a little better," said the Swiss at the pre-match press conference.
Despite the slight disappointment, BVB can look back on an historic season: With 84 goals, Erling Haaland and co. have scored more goals in a season than ever before in Dortmund's Bundesliga history, and they are looking to further extend that record against TSG. The Black and Yellow goal machine could also break the 70-point mark with their 12th home win this season.
But when TSG Hoffenheim visit the Signal Iduna Park, the home team will not have fond memories of their recent encounters: Dortmund have not been able to win against TSG in the last four games (two defeats and two draws). What's more, the Black and Yellows only have a lower winning percentage against Bayern Munich than against TSG (35%). "I only remember the last game there. We were better, but ended up losing. We don't want to do that again," said Favre about the game in the first half of the season, when TSG won 2-1 shortly before Christmas thanks to two late goals by Sargis Adamyan and Andrej Kramarić.
TSG fans will have particularly fond memories of two games on Matchday 34 in recent years: in 2013, Hoffenheim avoided automatic relegation thanks to a 2-1 win against the Champions League finalists. Sejad Salihovic was the hero of the day with two late goals from the penalty spot.
Two years ago, Hoffenheim and Dortmund were both fighting for a place in the UEFA Champions League. Thanks to a 3-1 victory, TSG overtook BVB in the table and qualified for the group phase of Europe's premier club competition for the first time in the club's history. Incidentally, Dortmund also made it into the Champions League because they managed to maintain a narrow lead over Leverkusen despite the defeat.
A depleted squad
Dortmund will definitely have make do without the injured Marco Reus, Manuel Akanji, Thomas Delaney and Mahmoud Dahoud on Saturday. In addition, Emre Can will miss the game after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season. Mario Götze will also be missing on Saturday. The World Cup winner, who will leave BVB at the end of the season, is currently in hospital with his wife and is not eligible to play due to the Coronavirus regulations.
While BVB can no longer change their position in the table with a win, TSG Hoffenheim would once again create history by jumping to sixth place, as this would secure their automatic qualification for the group phase of the Europa League. TSG fans will hope their team can create history for the third time on Matchday 34 against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.