Borussia Dortmund’s trip to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga on Saturday has come at a “sensational time” for coach Jurgen Klopp.
Die Schwarzgelben travel to the Allianz Arena buoyed by their stirring 2-0 victory over Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday, despite going out of the competition 3-2 on aggregate.
They sit second in the German top flight, three points ahead of arch-rivals Schalke in third, and can strengthen their grip on the position with victory against the newly crowned champions.
Bayern have not won in the Bundesliga since wrapping up their 24th German title at Hertha Berlin last month, with a 3-3 draw against Hoffenheim followed by a surprise defeat at Bavarian rivals Augsburg, their first league loss in more than 17 months.
Pep Guardiola appears to have shifted his attention to the Champions League – something that may benefit Dortmund.
The Catalan coach decided to rotate ahead of Bayern’s quarter-final in Europe’s premier club competition, a decision that paid dividends as they beat Manchester United 3-1 on Wednesday, allowing them to progress to the last four with a 4-2 aggregate triumph.
Dortmund have not won in Munich since 2011 but Klopp believes it is the perfect time to break that winless run.
“This is a sensational time to play Bayern, between Real Madrid and Wolfsburg,” he said.
“In recent weeks the deciding moments have gone against us, and we’ve been short of a little bit of luck.
“This is about collecting three important points, which could do us a world of good.”
Bayern will be desperate to respond from their first league loss since October 2012 and Klopp will be wary of a response – particularly with his side facing a big game in midweek.
Following their European exit, Dortmund can still claim a trophy by winning the DFB-Pokal, and they play Wolfsburg in the semi-final of the competition on Tuesday.
Bayern play second-tier Kaiserslautern in the other last-four tie on Wednesday, as they seek to add yet another trophy to a creaking cabinet.
Dortmund’s regular injury worries this season have not eased – Neven Subotic, Jakub Blaszczykowski (both knee), Marcel Schmelzer and Sven Bender (both groin) remain out – but captain Sebastian Kehl returns from suspension.
Xherdan Shaqiri (thigh) is set to miss out for Bayern, while Thiago Alcantara (knee) remains sidelined.