With their Champions League days already numbered, Borussia Dortmund will be keen to return to domestic duties and seek to protect their lead at the top of the Bundesliga with a victory over Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.
Dortmund had taken the Bundesliga by storm with six wins from their first seven matches before suffering their first loss of the season, to RB Leipzig, last week.
Their midweek 1-1 draw at APOEL Nicosia in the Champions League felt like another defeat and the 2013 finalists have now taken just one point from their first three group matches, leaving them staring at an early exit.
Dortmund’s exciting brand of attacking football has created something of a feel-good atmosphere at the club but another slip-up in Frankfurt might see that evaporate completely.
“We have to show a reaction now and instantly focus on the Bundesliga,” defender Marcel Schmelzer told reporters. “We are in a good position there and apart from the Leipzig game we have been getting results.”
Dortmund top the table on 19 points but last week’s loss meant champions Bayern Munich have closed to within two points.
Dortmund could also be without central defender Omer Toprak after he picked up a muscle injury in Cyprus.
“There is no crisis or anything else,” Dortmund midfielder Julian Weigl said. “We now have to go back to our own strengths and look to see what worked so well in the first games of the seasons.
“It was clear it was not always going to go up. No one believed before the season that we would have such a start anyway.”
Eintracht will be no pushovers having won three of their last four games, including their last two, to climb to seventh.
“Obviously Dortmund did not hit top form in their last two matches but we know what kind of team we will face,” Frankfurt’s Kevin-Prince Boateng said.
“They will try to do everything to turn things around for them. But it is not always easy and we will try to stop that and I am sure we will get our chances.”
Bayern hope to maintain their momentum under new coach Jupp Heynckes when they travel to Hamburg SV.
Bayern crushed Freiburg 5-0 last week and beat Celtic 3-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday in their two matches under Heynckes, who led them to the 2013 Champions League title.
Leipzig, third on 16 points, host promoted VfB Stuttgart.