Borussia Dortmund closed the gap to Bayern Munich in the table down to four points after back-to-back 1-0 wins against Arminia Bielefeld and FSV Mainz 05.

On Sunday, the Black and Yellows will travel to 1. FC Köln (7th) without team captain Marco Reus. The 32-year-old, who has scored nine goals and eight assists in 22 league appearances, remains sidelined with a non-covid illness.

“Marco Reus won’t return from his illness in time,” BVB coach Marco Rose said at Friday’s news conference.

Hope for a Guerreiro return

Dortmund are hoping that left-back Raphael Guerreiro will be available for the match day squad again. Rose said: “Rapha has tested negative for Covid-19 but we have to wait for the final team training. Mahmoud Dahoud will be suspended (5th booking) and Jude Bellingham will undergo further tests after a head collision in the Mainz game. Otherwise, there are no additional injuries.”

Centre-back Mats Hummels will return after a brush with Covid but it’s unclear whether the veteran defender will be in the starting line-up.

Manuel Akanji has been in team training after recovering for a muscular injury but remains doubtful.

Haaland start remains unlikely

Star striker Erling Haaland remains a doubt for the starting XI on Sunday. Rose does not want to rush the Norwegian, who has only played 51% of possible minutes for the Westphalians this season due to several injuries.

“Erling played 30 minutes against Bielefeld, 35 against Mainz. Against Mainz, he was already more involved in the game but our main focus is on keeping him healthy. We don’t know yet how many minutes he will play in Cologne,” his coach explained, hoping that Haaland can use the international break to build up further rhythm.

(Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)