LEWANDOWSKI'S BACK IS HURTING
Robert Lewandowski's indication that he will be leaving for Bayern next season, which has been the worst-kept secret in the Bundesliga, hardly caused a ripple in Dortmund. With his contract running out, Lewandowski's departure has been a foregone conclusion.
And Dortmund already has adequate replacements. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, both new signings, are scoring regularly. Aubameyang has five goals in the Bundesliga and both netted in the German Cup victory at 1860 Munich.
Lewandowski, who has four goals in the Bundesliga, was substituted and may miss Saturday's home match against Freiburg because of an ailing back.
Freiburg has won only one of 14 matches in Dortmund, with two draws.
Bayer Leverkusen is only one point behind front-runners Dortmund and Bayern, yet the club remains something of an afterthought in the Bundesliga despite playing some of the most entertaining football.
Australia forward Robbie Kruse may be in the starting lineup after scoring twice last week in the 4-1 win in Mainz. With Stefan Kiessling, who has five goals in the league, up front as well, Leverkusen may have too much firepower for Hannover.
Hannover is coming off a 4-1 loss in Munich in the German Cup and is still without striker Mame Diouf, who is nursing an ankle injury. Hannover is fourth in the standings, three points behind Leverkusen.