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International Soccer

Dortmund aims to close 2013 on positive note

Dortmund, Germany (SportsNetwork.com) - Borussia Dortmund will try to finish 2013 with one last strong performance before the league's winter break when Jurgen Klopp's men entertain Hertha Berlin on Saturday.

Dortmund's Bundesliga campaign has been inconsistent with the club falling 12 points back of leaders Bayern Munich, who will not be playing a league game this weekend because of the FIFA Club World Cup.

So with that in mind, Dortmund can at least close that gap to nine points with a win over Hertha on Saturday, while also giving their fans a reason to celebrate.

Dortmund has already lost twice at home so far this term, and Klopp feels his team's supporters deserve a win to close out the calendar year.

"It's about time we celebrated three points in our own stadium," Klopp said, referring to the team's two-game losing streak at home.

But the manager knows that Hertha will be a tricky opponent with the team having claimed seven points from its last three games to rise to seventh in the league.

Hertha's success comes in its first season back in the top flight, and Klopp knows that Saturday's opponents have the potential to make things difficult.

"They're uncomfortable opponents," Klopp said of Hertha. "Our task will be to ensure that we're even more uncomfortable than they are."

With Bayern away in Morocco at the Club World Cup, second-place Bayer Leverkusen can close to within four points of the leaders with a win at Werder Bremen, which is struggling at the moment with one point from its last five games.

In the lone match on Sunday, fourth-place Monchengladbach hopes to continue its strong run of form by extending its unbeaten streak to eight games against Wolfsburg.

Monchengladbach won six straight league matches before a 0-0 draw at Mainz last weekend, while Wolfsburg its unbeaten in eight games and resides three points adrift of Monchengladbach.

Schalke is two points back of Wolfsburg and visits second-from-the-bottom Nurnberg, Hamburg entertains Mainz, Freiburg squares off with Hannover and Hoffenheim tangles with Braunschweig.

On Friday, Raul Bobadilla and Jan Rosenthal swapped first-half tallies as Eintracht and Augsburg battled to a 1-1 draw.

12/20 16:22:38 ET

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