Marco Reus accepts Borussia Dortmund require a "perfect season" if they are to finally end Bayern Munich's Bundesliga dominance.

Bayern took 58 points out of a possible 60 from their last 20 games of the 2019-20 campaign to win the league for an eighth successive season, with Dortmund 13 points behind in second place.

BVB were just four points behind Bayern when the season resumed in May after the coronavirus-enforced break, but the Bavarian club never looked back after Joshua Kimmich scored the winner at Signal Iduna Park on May 26.

Dortmund have finished runners-up to Bayern in five of the previous eight seasons and BVB captain Reus acknowledged his team have to be virtually flawless.

"There's a lot of speculation it's because of this, or that, but you basically have to have a perfect season," he told BVB TV.

"Last year we had an almost perfect season and this year... I wouldn't say it was almost perfect because there were too many games before Christmas when we dropped points - Paderborn, Frankfurt, Freiburg - those games in particular, with goals in the 90th minute. Of course, other clubs can say the same.

"But in the second half of the season we showed that we'd got that consistency.

"I think since Lucien [Favre] came in we've gained that consistency throughout the season. It hasn't yet been enough to win the big prize, but you can see that we've got closer."

Reus, who is still yet to win a Bundesliga title, feels beating Bayern in Munich would be a huge step for Dortmund.

In the previous three seasons, Bayern have beaten Dortmund 6-0, 5-0 and 4-0 in the Bundesliga, and BVB's most recent league win in Munich was in April 2014 when Reus scored in a 3-0 victory.

"Basically, it's important to win the games against Bayern as they're our main rivals," Reus said.

"That's what will make the main difference and it has made the difference in the last few years.

"We've looked good in the home games, apart from this season when we lost, but we have to start winning away games in Munich to give ourselves the best chance of winning the title.

"The most important thing for me is to get that consistency in our performances and in our results, and if we get that we'll win the league.

"Over the last eight years Bayern have been better at it than every other club and we're on the right track to break through that ceiling.

"We have to keep going and keep working hard on that consistency in our performances and results.

"But ultimately if you win a game 1-0 at the weekend, two days later no one cares how you won the game and everyone just looks at the result.

"That's how it is for Bayern - they don't win every game 4-0 or 5-0 with scintillating football. They simply win their games and that's what makes you German champions."

Erling Haaland is set to return to the Borussia Dortmund squad for Saturday's trip to Fortuna Dusseldorf, while Marco Reus is also back in training.

BVB have been without two of their attacking stars in recent weeks as they look to secure Champions League qualification in the Bundesliga.

Haaland, who has scored 10 times in 11 Bundesliga games since moving in January, has been out of action since hobbling out of a 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich that all but ended second-placed Dortmund's title bid on May 26.

Reus last played at the start of February as a thigh strain robbed Dortmund of their captain.

The skipper is still not ready to feature again but has at least stepped up his recovery, while Haaland's knee problem is seemingly now behind him.

Head coach Lucien Favre told a news conference on Thursday: "[Haaland] has been training again since Wednesday and has been involved in everything. He looks very good.

"Otherwise, everyone else who was available last week is okay.

"Marco started training with the team this week. We're happy that he is training again and we all hope that he can play again as soon as possible.

"Unfortunately, I cannot give a more precise forecast yet. He will train again on Friday."

Dortmund have softened the blow of losing Haaland and Reus in recent weeks by turning in improved defensive showings.

Despite losing to Bayern last month, BVB have conceded just three goals in their past nine league matches - including a hard-fought 1-0 win over Hertha Berlin last time out.

"The defence is very important for success," Favre said ahead of the Fortuna game. "We have to find the right balance."

Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has admitted defeat in the Bundesliga title race as he acknowledged Bayern Munich will be crowned champions again.

When the Bundesliga resumed last month after a two-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, Dortmund trailed Bayern by four points with nine games remaining.

However, last week's 1-0 win in Der Klassiker at Signal Iduna Park increased Bayern's lead to seven points, an advantage they maintained after the weekend's results when they thumped Fortuna Dusseldorf 5-0.

With five games remaining and Bayern in fine form, Zorc has accepted Dortmund's hopes of preventing their rivals winning an eighth straight Bundesliga title are over.

"I think we said it all during the previous week after the match against Bayern," Zorc told reporters.

"From our point of view, the title has been decided.

"We don't believe Bayern will slip, they are just too good, one has to admit that.

"We are currently second and would very much like to finish there."

Dortmund are two points clear of third-placed RB Leipzig and four above Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen.

Lucien Favre's side still need to visit Leipzig but their next game is against Hertha Berlin on Saturday, when teenager Erling Haaland could potentially be missing from the side once more.

The striker came off in the loss to Bayern with a knee injury and was absent for the 6-1 win at Paderborn on Sunday.

"He started to work out with the team for 40 minutes today," Zorc said of Haaland.

"He will be with us tomorrow and we will see. He did not do much since he was slightly injured. We will see."

On captain Marco Reus, who has not played since February due to a thigh injury, Zorc added: "Marco Reus has not been in training with the team for four months.

"He is slowly getting there. He did a lot of running. He has been starting to work with the ball but only in individual training."

Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre is not giving up on Marco Reus playing again this season despite reports claiming his 2019-20 campaign is already over.

Reus suffered a groin injury during a DFB-Pokal match in February, and although he was only thought to be facing a month out, the 30-year-old still has not been able to return to full training.

It was reported earlier in the week that Reus will definitely miss next Tuesday's Klassiker against Bayern Munich, and an absence until the end of the season is likely.

Favre, speaking ahead of Saturday's trip to Wolfsburg, refused to openly confirm or contradict those claims, though he did appear hopeful that Reus would be able to feature again this term as Dortmund challenge Bayern for the Bundesliga title.

"He hasn't trained with the team yet," Favre told reporters.

"We hope that he will come back as soon as possible and can help us until the end of the season."

There was positive news with respect to Emre Can and Giovanni Reyna. The midfield pair missed the 4-0 win over Schalke as Dortmund resumed their season last Saturday, and they are due to be involved in team training on Friday.

Dortmund have had to contend with numerous injuries of late, with Axel Witsel still out with a muscular problem and Dan-Axel Zagadou set for a long absence due to a knee ligament injury, but Favre feels such issues were to be expected following the coronavirus-enforced pause.

"We trained first in groups of two, then in groups of four. There is a certain danger," he said. "We all did not train normally and then had to train properly four or five days before a championship game, duels. This is not a big surprise for me."

After more than a two-month pause, top-level European football returns on Saturday with the Bundesliga's resumption – and EA Sports have released their 'Team of the Season So Far' on FIFA Ultimate Team ahead the German top-flight's return.

Undoubtedly the highlight of the first weekend back will be the Revierderby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke, while pacesetters Bayern Munich go to Union Berlin.

For many football fans out there, gaming will have played a significant role in filling the void left behind by the real thing over the past two months – and FIFA 20 is giving Bundesliga fanatics extra reason to stick around with its boosted cards.

Featuring the likes of Jadon Sancho, Kai Havertz, Erling Haaland, Robert Lewandowski and Timo Werner, all of whom have boosted ratings in the 90s, fresh TOTSSF cards are now available in FUT.

Check out the full release below.

TEAM OF THE SEASON SO FAR

GK: Yann Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach) – 94

RWB: Achraf Hakimi (Borussia Dortmund) – 91

CB: Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund) – 96

CB: Dayot Upamecano (RB Leipzig) – 93

LB: Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich) – 92

RF: Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) – 96

CDM: Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich) – 96

CAM: Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen) – 94

ST: Timo Werner (RB Leipzig) – 97

ST: Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund) – 95

ST: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) – 99

SUBSTITUTES

GK: Lukas Hradecky (Bayer Leverkusen) – 91

CB: Martin Hinteregger (Eintracht Frankfurt) – 88

CB: Matthias Ginter (Borussia Monchengladbach) – 92

CM: Suat Serdar (Schalke) – 88

CM: Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich) – 95

RW: Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich) – 93

LM: Filip Kostic (Eintracht Frankfurt) – 94

CAM: Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund) – 95

ST: Florian Niederlechner (Augsburg) – 89

Borussia Dortmund Marco Reus insists he never had any desire to join Bayern Munich.

Towards the end of Dortmund's impressive spell of success under Jurgen Klopp – an era that yielded back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2010-11 and 2011-12 – Mario Gotze, Robert Lewandowski and Mats Hummels all swapped Signal Iduna Park for the Allianz Arena.

Reus, who joined BVB from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2012, was also a target for Bayern but explained in an interview with Sport Bild that his heart always lay at a club where he now proudly wears the captain's armband.

"The request came, as it did from other clubs. I have the greatest respect for Bayern Munich and what the club has been doing for decades," he said.

"But I always wanted to play for BVB. It was always the club my heart drew me to. When I played in Gladbach at the time, it was clear to me: within the Bundesliga, I only change to Dortmund, otherwise I go abroad."

Thomas Muller signed an extended contract until 2023 at Bayern this week, matching the terms his fellow 30-year-old Reus has at Dortmund.

“I think it is also important for the fans that there are guys like Thomas and me. They notice that we identify with their club as much as they do it themselves," he said.

"It has always been my dream to play for BVB. Here I have everything to be happy: my home, my family, my club. 

"And this feeling has always prevailed - even if another country with a different culture might have been attractive."

Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre remains unsure when Marco Reus will return from a muscle injury.

Reus was forced off during his side's DFB-Pokal loss to Werder Bremen on February 2, with the Bundesliga club initially announcing he would not return to training again for four weeks.

Favre confirmed on Thursday that while the Germany forward is now working indoors as he continues his recovery, he will not be involved when Dortmund travel to Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday.

"I can't tell you the exact time when he will return. He started his indoor training yesterday, but that's all I can say about this," Favre told a news conference.

Reus' fitness is a major concern ahead of the Champions League last-16 second leg against Paris Saint-Germain next Wednesday.

They were without their captain for the first meeting at Signal Iduna Park, where Erling Haaland scored twice to secure a 2-1 victory over their French opponents.

With Reus still sidelined, Favre could turn to Mario Gotze ahead of a busy schedule that the Dortmund head coach described as an "English week" during his pre-match press conference.

Gotze has featured sparingly this season, making 13 league appearances, and is out of contract at the end of the season.

Asked if the 2014 World Cup winner may be more heavily involved, Favre replied: "We will see about that. But it is possible, because we are going to have an English week playing on Saturday, Wednesday and again on Saturday.

"It is going really fast and everybody has to prepare for this. We will already see about this tomorrow. He keeps going in the training and performs very well, so everything is possible.

"There are still 10 matches ahead of us in the championship, so everything can happen. Everything happens really fast in football."

Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland must still convince Lucien Favre of his match fitness despite a sensational start to life in Germany.

Haaland arrived at Signal Iduna Park from RB Salzburg last month, billed as one of the hottest properties in European football, and the teenage striker has certainly not disappointed.

He scored a hat-trick from the bench to inspire a 5-3 comeback win over Augsburg on debut and followed that with a brace in a 5-1 rout of Cologne.

The Norway international was at the double once more on his first start, with Union Berlin dismissed 5-0, although he was a substitute once more for the DFB-Pokal tie at Werder Bremen in midweek.

Naturally, Haaland scored after his introduction, although BVB fell to a 3-2 defeat.

Asked whether he regretted not starting the in-form forward, Favre kept his sights trained on the bigger picture at a Thursday news conference.

"As I said, I am the first one to [know whether to] let him play from the beginning," he said.

"You don't know his fitness like I do. So, we have to be careful. We have to be reasonable.

"Of course, I would like to let him play all games, but we still have to be careful with him sometimes.

"He is 19 years old and I speak about the pre-season and old injuries. We have to be reasonable."

Favre's hand might be forced, however, given his forward line will be without Marco Reus when they travel to face Bayer Leverkusen this weekend. 

"Unfortunately, Marco is injured now. It happened in the last minute. I am very sorry for him," said Favre, with his captain set for a four-week spell on the sidelines due to a muscular complaint that will cause him to miss the Champions League showdown with Paris Saint-Germain on February 18.

"But Marco is still very important and will be important for the team. There are several options how to replace him, but it depends on the system. Today it’s still not decided."

Emre Can, a deadline-day arrival on an initial loan from Juventus, made a substitute cameo against Werder and could make his league debut for Dortmund against old employers Leverkusen.

"We have to see him in training, how he feels. He did not play a lot [at Juventus this season]," Favre added.

"He made a good impression yesterday. The training was very long and intense. He did very well.

"He has to show in training what he is able to do. We know he can play as a defender with a back three but also in the midfield as six or eight, also in a 4-3-3.

"We will see because right now I cannot tell you exactly."

Marco Reus will be sidelined for at least four weeks after suffering a muscle injury in Borussia Dortmund's DFB-Pokal loss to Werder Bremen on Tuesday. 

Lucien Favre's side were beaten 3-2 by the Bundesliga strugglers as Reus was forced off in the closing stages of a damaging evening for the visitors. 

Dortmund tweeted on Wednesday to confirm their captain would not be fit to return to training until next month, ruling him out of the Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain on February 18.

"Captain Marco Reus contracted a muscle injury in the DFB-Pokal," the tweet read.

"According to the current status, he will be able to start training again in around four weeks."

That timeframe would rule the attacking midfielder out of the next four top-flight matches, but he could be back in the reckoning for the trip to Paris on March 11.

Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre will make a late call on whether to hand Erling Haaland a Bundesliga debut at Augsburg this weekend.

Dortmund beat off interest from a host of heavyweight European clubs to land the 19-year-old striker last month, paying a release clause of €22.5million to Salzburg.

Haaland netted 28 goals in 22 appearances for the Austrian champions this season but Favre conceded to concerns over his match fitness after missing the start of Dortmund's mid-season training camp.

"As I said, we'll see. Now, I can't say," Favre told reporters.

"But he didn't train from December 10 until the end of December. At the beginning of our training camp in Marbella he didn't train, too.

"The time for the preparation was also really short. But yesterday he ran a lot and it was okay."

Favre might be tempted not to rush Haaland with club captain Marco Reus and Thorgan Hazard set to bolster his frontline, having returned from their respective muscular injuries.

"The injured players trained a lot. Marco Reus and Thorgan Hazard trained every day," Favre added.

"They were every day here. We'll see if they can play.

"In terms of injury, Marcel Schmelzer can't play on Saturday, Tobias Raschl didn't train this week and Thomas Delaney can't play, too."

Dortmund sit fourth in an intriguingly poised Bundesliga table, three points behind champions Bayern Munich and seven shy of leaders RB Leipzig at the halfway stage.

Marco Reus lavished praise on his new Borussia Dortmund team-mate Erling Haaland, convinced the club has not had a player like him since Robert Lewandowski.

Dortmund reportedly saw off competition from a host of major European clubs to land the young Norwegian striker, who joined at the start of this month after his move was confirmed in December.

Haaland emerged as one of Europe's most sought-after players after starring for Salzburg, scoring 28 goals in 22 matches this season.

Manchester United, Juventus and RB Leipzig were among the clubs said to be interested in the 19-year-old before BVB reported paid a relatively modest fee of €20million.

Reus says the teenager must be given time to settle in, but is adamant he has not seen a forward of Haaland's ilk at the club since Lewandowski left for Bayern Munich in 2014.

"He's very open-minded and it's important to get to know everyone first - a training camp like this is ideal," Reus told Sky Deutschland during Dortmund's mid-season break in Marbella.

"Now it's about getting really fit, arriving properly. It will take time, we'll give it to him. He just gives us another input, another way we can play.

"I don't think we have had this type of player since Lewy [Lewandowski]. He gives us the opportunity to be more flexible and able to react to different scores.

"It makes us feel good. Now he has to get well and get to know everyone properly - we have to, too. We have to go with him and his strengths, but that will all happen over time.

"Paco [Alcacer] really boomed at the beginning, then he was injured longer. Then the coach decided differently.

"As I said, Haaland gives us many opportunities to play football, but ultimately the coach has to decide who will be used.

"For me and other players, we have new options with Haaland, sometimes long balls. In football it's important to be flexible and we have achieved that.

"We have now got a very good striker and with it new options, so we're well positioned."

A common criticism of Dortmund in recent years has been the perceived lack of bite in the team, that they are too nice – but Reus does not agree, insisting having "an absolute b*****d" in the team is not necessary.

"No, I don't think so," he said when asked if Dortmund were missing a "dirtbag" player. "We had the discussion last year, too.

"The squad is put together in the way that the responsible persons had imagined it, how the coach imagined it. We have enough quality in the squad.

"We don't need someone who's an absolute b*****d. We'll solve it our way, even if it's not always right.

"So, we don't have to worry about it. We'll have to improve our games, we know that, but we don't necessarily need a 'dirtbag' for that."

Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been rewarded for his brilliant display up against Raheem Sterling in the Manchester derby, earning inclusion in FIFA Ultimate Team's latest Team of the Week.

Manchester United claimed a fine 2-1 win at the home of the champions on Saturday, with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial getting the goals.

But arguably just as vital was the performance of Wan-Bissaka at right-back, as the England Under-21 international played an integral role in nullifying Sterling, one of the Premier League's form players.

Wan-Bissaka completed a match-high five tackles – one a last-ditch challenge to deny Sterling what looked set to be a certain goal – and also made seven clearances.

Liverpool star Sadio Mane is back in the TOTW for the second time, while Serie A's chief creator Luis Alberto lines up in midfield having set up another two goals in Lazio's 3-1 win over Juventus, taking his campaign tally to 11, five more than anyone else in the competition.

Unsurprisingly there is also a place in the team for Real Betis' Joaquin after he became the oldest player in LaLiga history to score a hat-trick, while Memphis Depay and Marco Reus lead the line.

Below, we take a look at the latest squad in full.

FUT TEAM OF THE WEEK

GK: Martin Dubravka (Newcastle United) – 83

CB: Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Manchester United) – 82

CB: Martin Hinteregger (Eintracht Frankfurt) – 83

CB: Raphael Varane (Real Madrid) – 86

LM: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) – 90

CDM: Charles Aranguiz (Bayer Leverkusen) – 85

CDM: Luis Alberto (Lazio) – 87

CM: Morgan Sanson (Marseille) – 82

RM: Joaquin (Real Betis) – 83

CF: Memphis Depay (Lyon) – 86

CF: Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund) – 89

SUBSTITUTES:

GK: Luigi Sepe (Parma) – 81

CB: Guillermo Maripan (Monaco) – 82

LM: Cristian Ansaldi (Torino) – 82

CAM: Matheus Pereira (West Brom) – 81

ST: Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) – 84

ST: Cristhian Stuani (Girona) – 82

RF: Lukas Podolski (Vissel Kobe) – 81

RESERVES:

CM: Cristian Battocchio (Brest) – 78

CM: Carlos Sierra (America de Cali) – 73

ST: Vinicius (Benfica) – 79

ST: Adam Le Fondre (Sydney FC) – 78

ST: Josh Maja (Bordeaux) – 75

Marco Reus said Borussia Dortmund are lacking both luck and confidence following a Champions League loss at Barcelona.

Dortmund slipped to a 3-1 defeat at Camp Nou on Wednesday with Lionel Messi providing two assists, scoring and hitting the crossbar in a superb showing on his 700th appearance for Barca.

Although Jadon Sancho inspired Dortmund from the bench after his half-time arrival, scoring once and forcing Marc-Andre ter Stegen to turn a drive onto the crossbar, Dortmund are without a win in three games in all competitions.

They have conceded 10 times during that run to pile the pressure on under-fire coach Lucien Favre with Reus accepting Dortmund, who now need help from elsewhere to qualify for the last 16, are struggling.

"We knew what we were up against," Reus said.

"We moved the ball well enough, but had problems with penetration in the final third.

"If we lose the ball there, we have to be braver when pressing and do so with more energy.

"Currently things are not going in the right direction for us. We are lacking some good luck as well. 

"It is always our goal to win a game, but I have to admit we are not full of confidence."

Dortmund are at home to Slavia Prague on matchday six next month but will not qualify if Inter beat Barca at San Siro.

Marco Reus said he was "ashamed" of Borussia Dortmund's performance in a 3-3 Bundesliga draw at home to Paderborn despite his late equaliser salvaging a point.

Dortmund, beaten 4-0 away to Bayern Munich in their last match before the international break, were 3-0 down at half-time in Friday's clash against the league's bottom side.

Streli Mamba struck twice and Gerrit Holtmann was also on target for Steffen Baumgart's side, while Dortmund lost striker Paco Alcacer to injury before the interval.

Dortmund improved after the break, with Jadon Sancho reducing the deficit two minutes after the restart, and Axel Witsel gave the hosts further hope by scoring with six minutes to go.

Sancho then crossed for Reus to nod home the leveller in the second minute of added time to spare Dortmund an embarrassing defeat, though the captain was unimpressed with his side.

"We can never play like that again," he told DAZN after Dortmund missed the chance to move up to second place in the table. 

"It was an absolutely poor performance and we are ashamed. We apologise to all our fans."

Pressure has been growing on Lucien Favre, whose side came from two goals down to beat Inter in the Champions League this month, but Reus defended the under-fire Dortmund coach.

"The coach puts us in a great position every time. We're responsible for putting our performance on the pitch, and we do not have to talk about the coach, but about us," the forward said. 

"If 80,000 people come here on a Friday night, we cannot offer that."

Dortmund will be eight points off the top of the table if Borussia Monchengladbach win at Union Berlin on Saturday.

Lucien Favre urged Borussia Dortmund to forget their Der Klassiker humbling as they prepare to host Paderborn on Friday.

Dortmund were crushed 4-0 by Bayern Munich in their final game before the international break and are sixth in the Bundesliga table.

Favre, who is under pressure at the helm, is eager for Dortmund to put that result behind them as they prepare to resume their campaign.

"We played badly against Bayern Munich, that is clear," the head coach told a news conference on Wednesday.

"We still had the previous victory against Inter [in the Champions League] fresh in our minds. Not all players, but some.

"But such a loss can happen. We have to look ahead. We still have eight games, we have to keep going and think about our performance from game to game."

Thomas Delaney (ankle) has been ruled out until January for Dortmund, while Favre was unsure about Nico Schulz's availability but said Marco Reus trained "OK" during the week.

With the international break over, Favre wants Dortmund focused on club duties for the rest of 2020.

"We still have eight games until Christmas. We have to focus on those games," he said.

"We have six league games and two Champions League games. Dortmund will be their sole focus now until the end of the year.

"The players should no longer have their national teams in mind. That is important."

Dortmund are sixth in the Bundesliga, but just six points off league leaders Borussia Monchengladbach.

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