Borussia Dortmund return to Bundesliga action this weekend with a trip to Fortuna Düsseldorf, knowing that if they fail to win the title race could be officially over, if it isn't already.
Losing Der Klassiker to Bayern Munich opened a seven point gap between the two giants at the top of the league, and with only 12 left to play for, it is looking like the title will remain in Bavaria for another year at least.
Dortmund are still doing all they can to keep the pressure on Bayern at the top, with a hard fought 1-0 victory at home against Hertha Berlin last time out keeping their faint hopes alive.
The hosts, however, are not having as much luck. A loss could put them back into the automatic relegation places, should Werder Bremen win their game against basement club Paderborn. It's a huge weekend for Fortuna Düsseldorf, who could leapfrog Mainz if they lose to Augsburg.
However, the relegation playoff could be all but confirmed should they lose and Mainz win. The future in Düsseldorf doesn't look too bright.
Where to Watch
Düsseldorf are still without Zack Steffen, who's been sidelined since January, and the American goalkeeper is unlikely to return to the starting 11 before the end of the season. The Manchester City loanee was in fine form at the beginning of the campaign, but fortunately Florian Kastenmeier has been impressive in his stead.
The biggest news for Fortuna will be Marcel Sobottka's return. He missed the 2-2 draw with Hoffenheim and is expected to return in midfield after recovering from ankle trouble, but Oliver Fink is still sidelined.
Dortmund showed a lack of cutting edge against Hertha last week and will be glad to welcome Erling Haaland back into contention. The Norwegian scored ten goals in his first 11 Bundesliga games before an injury saw him miss two matches. Marco Reus has also returned to training, but is less likely to make the squad.
Haaland isn't a definite starter but should return to the bench, but one player who will be restored to the team is Mats Hummels. He's back from suspension and his return should pave the way for Emre Can to line up in midfield, with Thomas Delaney likely to be sacrificed. Mahmoud Dahoud is still injured.
Fortuna Düsseldorf: Kastenmeier; Gießelmann, Ayhan, Hoffmann; Suttner, Thommy, Berisha, Stöger, Zimmermann; Hennings, Karaman.
Borussia Dortmund: Bürki; Piszczek, Hummels, Akanji; Hakimi, Witsel, Can, Guerreiro; Brandt, Sancho; Hazard.
Head to Head Record
Despite the histories of these two clubs being vastly different in the Bundesliga era, the head to head record is surprisingly close. Even though Dortmund have played in over twice as many top flight campaigns as their opponents since the league's 1963 inception, in 41 meetings Dortmund have won 18, Düsseldorf 15 and eight have ended in draws.
Der BVB have an even worse record at the Spiel-Arena, only winning five of the 20 games compared to Düsseldorf's nine.
However, looking purely at recent form, the gulf in class becomes evident, with Dortmund being victorious in four of the last six encounters going back to 2012/13, the Rheinländers winning one and the other a draw. Düsseldorf did win this fixture last season though, so don't write them off.
Dortmund may have bounced back from their disappointing loss to Bayern with back to back wins against Paderborn and Hertha Berlin, but the latter was not the most convincing performance. They took almost an hour to find the breakthrough, and then struggled to put the game to bed. Only poor finishing from Alexander Esswein stopped them losing two points.
The game put a spotlight over Dortmund's reliance on Haaland, especially with Jadon Sancho misfiring throughout the game. The lack of a second outright centre forward will be on Lucien Favre's radar, as speculation over Sancho's future continues.
Düsseldorf have turned it around since Uwe Rosler took charge at the end of January, losing just two Bundesliga games since his appointment. He's made Fortuna very difficult to beat, though they've only won two of his Bundesliga games.
Expensive draws against relegation rivals Mainz, Köln and Paderborn have them fighting for their lives, and last week's draw against Hoffenheim was awful. They were 1-0 up when Hoffenheim were reduced to ten men with 80 minutes left to play, yet still contrived to draw 2-2. With Dortmund and RB Leipzig up next, things are looking bleak.
Here's how both sides have fared since the restart.
Fortuna Düsseldorf 2-2 Hoffenheim (6/6)
Bayern Munich 5-0 Fortuna Düsseldorf (30/5)
Fortuna Düsseldorf 2-1 Schalke (27/5)
Köln 2-2 Fortuna Düsseldorf (24/5)
Fortuna Düsseldorf 0-0 Paderborn (16/5)
Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Hertha Berlin (6/6)
Paderborn 1-6 Borussia Dortmund (31/5)
Borussia Dortmund 0-1 Bayern Munich (26/5)
Wolfsburg 0-2 Borussia Dortmund (23/5)
Borussia Dortmund 4-0 Schalke (16/5)
Dortmund will have too much for Düsseldorf and should be able to find a way through their well organised defence.
Düsseldorf's two defeats during the Rosler era have both been to top four opposition - Bayern Munich and Monchengladbach - so they don't have the best record against the best. Expect that to continue.
Die Schwarz-Gelben are almost restored to full power with Hummels and Haaland back, while Flingeraner are still missing a couple of key figures, and BVB should get over the line with relative ease.
Prediction: Fortuna Dusseldorf 0-3 Borussia Dortmund