- Associated Press - Thursday, February 19, 2015

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - Borussia Dortmund can take a decisive step away from the relegation zone if it wins in Stuttgart on Friday.

Stuttgart is not only last, it has the worst home record in the league: only one win in 10 home matches, only four goals scored.

Dortmund has finally put together consecutive wins but it is still only one point away from the relegation zone.

Stuttgart, the 2007 champion, can hardly afford another home defeat if it hopes to avoid relegation.

Here are some things to know about the Bundesliga this weekend:

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REUS RISING

Marco Reus has rediscovered his form and scoring touch since returning recently from injury and has been the main factor behind Dortmund’s rise from the bottom.

Reus scored one goal and was the driving force of the team in the 4-2 win over Mainz. The last time Dortmund visited Stuttgart, he scored all three goals in the match.

On the other side, Stuttgart’s Vedad Ibisevic has scored six goals in his career against Dortmund, the best against any team. But the striker has spent a lot of time on the bench recently, which is not helping him overcome a scoring slump.

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NEW MAINZ

The defeat in Dortmund tipped the scales against coach Kasper Hjulmand, who was fired on Tuesday after the team managed only one win from the past 13 league games.

Mainz promoted under-23 coach Martin Schmidt to the top job. Schmidt makes his debut on Saturday in the home match against rival Eintracht Frankfurt.

Schmidt is expected to return to a high-pace pressing game once played by Mainz when it was under coach Juergen Klopp, now in Dortmund.

“We want to be best running team in the league,” Schmidt said.

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BREMEN’S RUN

Werder Bremen’s five straight wins have propelled the team from the relegation zone to eighth place and perhaps even a chance of clinching a place in the Europa League next season.

Coach Viktor Skripnik has done a remarkable job in turning the team around. A former player for Bremen, he was working with the youth side when he was picked to take over the Bundesliga team following the departure of Robin Dutt.

Bremen next travels to Schalke, also a team with a coaching change. While stabilizing Schalke’s defense, Roberto Di Matteo is lacking firepower in the attack, especially with the injury and suspension of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

It could be a chance for Felix Platte, a 19-year-old striker who struck the crossbar in the 2-0 loss to Real Madrid in what was Schalke’s best chance.

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QUIET WEEKEND?

Bundesliga leader Bayern Munich should have a trouble-free trip to Paderborn, if it can shake off the travel wear from its midweek trip to Ukraine and a 0-0 draw with Shakhtar Donetsk.

Bayern is coming off an 8-0 rout over Hamburger SV. Paderborn ended a 10-match winless run by winning 2-1 in Hannover.

Wolfsburg, trailing Bayern by eight points, hosts slumping Hertha Berlin. Bas Dost scored four goals in Wolfsburg’s 5-4 victory in Leverkusen and is the hottest striker in the league.


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