Dark cushion, broad chest – borussia dortmund goes into the tricky european league second leg on thursday (21) with increased confidence.05 a.M.) at atalanta bergamo.
After eight matches in the german national league without a defeat, peter stoger is confident that his team will also be able to turn things around on the international stage and make it to the eighth finals. "The starting situation is not so bad," said the coach, referring to the narrow 3:2 win in the first leg a week earlier. "We have shown in recent weeks that we are hard to beat. I am quite relaxed."
Under the austrian’s direction, the former dortmund experience has become a rather unspectacular result football. So his team celebrated a happy 1-0 in monchengladbach on sunday despite a goal difference of 8:28. But stoger will not approach the task in italy as defensively as he did in the second 45 minutes of this game. "It’s not our specialty to stand against and absorb the attacks," he confessed, "the easier variant is for you to create the game yourself. We have to try to play out our play culture over a longer period of time, then you have less to do yourself."
It will not be easy. Finally, bergamo is considered very strong at home. Although the team of coach gian piero gasperini is currently playing its games in reggio emilia, almost 200 kilometers away, due to the reconstruction of the home arena, it won all three games in the group stage of the europa league with a goal ratio of 7:1. Hans-joachim watzke set the course. "The first leg 3:2 is a clear result. The most important thing is that we do not lose. Then we move on. We know it’s going to be a tough job," the BVB manager said confidently on wednesday before dortmund’s departure for parma: "the defense is up to the task, and up front we have enough individual class to score a goal."
It speaks for increased courage that defender lukasz piszczek in the TV station sport1 already with further plays in the competition liebaute: "if one is already in the europa league, one wants to come also into the final. This is the cup that borussia has never won, and we would like to do that this year."The youngest balance in europe, however, speaks against it. After all, BVB has gone six games without a win and has lost the last three matches.O.-away games lost. On the other hand, borussia advanced in 16 of 17 matches after winning the first leg at home.
As in the 1:0 in monchengladbach, the buddy trio mario gotze, andre schurrle and marco reus could make the difference in favor of BVB. On sunday, the national team players were together on the pitch for the first time in 13 months and co-produced the winning goal. Stoger announced that he would not spare any player for monday’s bundesliga match against augsburg.
Nevertheless, it seems questionable whether reus will again run up. Finally, the biggest star in the squad played his fourth game in 13 days after an eight-month compulsory absence. "When marco feels good, it’s hard to imagine this team without him. Then he is indispensable," commented stoger on wednesday before the final training session. They are in constant exchange with reus and will decide in the short term, "how we deal with his role.
Marcel schmelzer, who has recovered from a torn muscle fiber, is set for a comeback. "It’s finally time to be part of the squad again," said the captain in a positive mood. "The belief within the team is growing. One notices that the self-confidence is again there." On the other hand, shinji kagawa will continue to be missing, with whom, according to stoger, "in the bone area a ligament is insulted".