Borussia Dortmund are unbeaten in 2021 but, after winning their opening two games, dropped points for the first time this calendar year in their draw with Mainz. Tuesday evening (kick-off 20:30 CET) sees the Black & Yellows take on Bayer Leverkusen – a direct rival for the Champions League places.
"We were obviously disappointed on Saturday evening," said head coach Edin Terzic as he reflected once more upon the 1-1 draw with Mainz. "We've been over it and it's good to be moving on quickly. We want to do better tomorrow evening." The stalemate with the Zero-Fivers marked the start of the first English week of the year for Borussia Dortmund. The Black & Yellows will travel away to two top teams – Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday and Borussia Mönchengladbach on Friday – before the week is out.
Leverkusen and Dortmund currently sit in third and fourth place in the table respectively, and are level on points with only two goals separating them. Leverkusen, who led the table after 11 and 12 rounds, are without a win in four Bundesliga outings – though they did qualify for the DFB Cup Round of 16 a week ago courtesy of a 4-1 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt. "They're having a very good season. They're still very much alive in all three competitions," said Terzic of an opponent that tasted defeat for the first time all season on Matchday 13. "That speaks volumes about their quality. They're a very good opponent; they'll be a tough nut for us to crack."
The match against Leverkusen is the 17th of the season for Borussia Dortmund, meaning it is the last chance for the Black & Yellows to improve their position in the table for the first half of the 2020/21 Bundesliga campaign. "In a match against a direct rival, we can not only ensure that we pick up three more points but also that the opposition drops points. We want to round off the first half of the season with a victory," said Terzic, who then went on to note: "We're still involved in all three competitions. All the objectives that we want to achieve are still achievable."