It is with the second-best points tally at this point of a season in club history - 69 points with 30 games played - that Borussia Dortmund go into the final four matchdays of the 2018/19 Bundesliga.
''We want a derby win!'' - the message from the BVB fans in Freiburg's Schwarzwaldstadion was unequivocal. The scoreboard on Sunday read 0-4 at full-time, while on Saturday the Black & Yellows will face Schalke 04. BVB have a chance to celebrate two derby wins in a season for the first time since 2012. The trip to Gelsenkirchen before the winter break ended in a 2-1 win for Dortmund.
After the clear win in Breisgau (Lucien Favre: ''We were very, very efficient today. In the end we won 4-0, a harsh result on the opposition,'') Borussia remain hot on the tails of Bayern, who with 16 wins and a draw in their last 18 matches have showed no signs of letting up. But there are still four matches to be played. ''We're keeping the pressure up,'' said Marco Reus, who proved the match-winner for BVB once more on Sunday with a goal and two assists.
Although the Black and Yellows' recent victories - more those against Mainz and Wolfsburg as opposed to Freiburg - have been characterised more by sweat than swagger, they've nonetheless managed five wins in the last six matches. This run of form has seen them rack up 69 points after 30 matchdays. They've only managed more at this point in the season once before - back in 2015/16, when 71 points after 30 games helped BVB on the way to achieving the highest-ever points tally for a team finishing second in Bundesliga history. ''Everything's still possible,'' announced Mario Götze: ''It won't be settled till the very end. We're still in it and we're giving it all we've got.''
The next hurdle is a fixture unlike any other. ''It's a completely different game. Form goes out the window, so does your position in the table. The atmosphere in the stadium feels completely different,'' says former Borussia player Nuri Sahin, who will of course be cheering on his former teammates: ''There's nothing better than celebrating a win over Schalke in front of the yellow wall.''
Götze too, who's played in ten derbies in his career (four wins, four draws, two defeats), knows all too well that: ''It will be no ordinary game, we're aware of that. But we're playing at home, we're full of self-confidence once more and we want to keep ourselves right up at the top of the table.''