It is now 20 days since the Dortmund U23s were last in Regionalliga action. Their 2-2 draw against SC Wiedenbrück was followed by a cancelled fixture against Bonn and a fixture-free week. Enrico Maaßen's side will be off to the Dutch border on Saturday, where they will continue their promotion push with a game against FC Wegberg-Beeck (14:00 CET).

Despite the lengthy spell without any games, the Black & Yellow youngsters remain top of the table. The vistors, meanwhile, are battling relegation down in 15th place and changed their coach this week. Mark Zeh took over the reins on Wednesday, having previously coached the club's reserve team at district-league level.

BVB won the reverse fixture in Dortmund by a 3-2 scoreline. Among the goalscorers that day was Franz Pfanne, who still recalls the game fondly. "It was my first goal in a Black & Yellow shirt. That's obviously something special." The preparations for the fixture have been unusual, with the players not in their rhythm and training without competitive action. But that's no problem for Pfanne; quite the contrary. "We've had a very high level in training. We've played 11 vs. 11 among ourselves; and that was outstanding in terms of the level. We're really looking forward to the match, we're up for it, and we obviously want to keep our place at the top of the table and perhaps even extend our lead."

For BVB, Saturday's fixture marks the start of an intense month that will see the Black & Yellows play six times in the space of 21 days. But the BVB captain is confident that his team will handle the fixture congestion well: "We're taking it one game and a time. We already had a similar schedule last year. We coped with that well. We need to impose our game, and then we'll be successful."
Timo Lammert