Frustration over the 1:4 loss to hamburg faded at the latest during the breakfast shared by the dortmund team before the start of the charter flight to the first leg of the round of 16 on wednesday. The prospect of joining the illustrious group of the best eight european teams for the first time in 15 years released new energy at borussia. "So far we have shown great performances in europe. We won’t let that be taken away from us," said captain sebastian kehl regardless of all the personnel problems.
At least the concern about freezing cold at the easternmost participant of the competition, which is about 2200 kilometers away, proved to be unfounded. Temperatures were above zero when the team landed in donezk on tuesday. But these unexpectedly pleasant conditions did not deprive the borussians of respect for the sporting task at hand.
Jurgen klopp warned of the quality of the sambafubballers – no fewer than eight brazilians are in the shakhtjor squad from the ukrainian coalfield, which is endowed with lavish donations from oligarch rinat akhmetov: "they have an unbelievable quality in the squad. That’s why it’s going to be a tough challenge for us."The BVB coach is not worried that his team could again play far below form after the defeat against hamburg: "after a game like that, not everything can be bad. Besides, it’s the first eighth final in the champions league for everyone. Motivation is not an issue."
BVB would do well not to underestimate the 2009 uefa cup winners. It was only on the last matchday that schachtjor lost 1-0 to juventus turin to secure victory in group E, but they did manage to knock defending champions FC chelsea out of the kings’ division with the same number of points. That made you want more. "Of course we can win the champions league," said captain darijo srna. And alex teixeira is also brimming with confidence: "we’re better than the selecao, we’re the brazil of europe."
It could be an advantage for BVB that the ukrainian champion lacks rhythm due to the winter break that has lasted since the end of november. Twelve test matches in the united arab emirates and spain should make up for this shortcoming. According to BVB coach klopp, the benefits are limited: "we should not be concerned with the fact that schachtjor lacks match practice. They may even have played more games than us during that time."
However, BVB will have to do without national team player ilkay gundogan as well as kevin grobkreutz. The midfielder is out with a nail-bed injury in his toe and didn’t even make the trip to the east. "That’s suboptimal," complained klopp. The coach has every reason to worry: none of the six games in which gundogan was not in the starting eleven, the BVB could win.
Marcel schmelzer, on the other hand, was given a green light after injuring his foot in training on monday evening. "We were all a bit shocked, but it turned out to be a small thing with the capsule. He can play," said klopp, relieved.
Neven subotic is also back on board. The center back, who has been out since the beginning of the year due to a calf injury, passed a hard test with dortmund’s U 23 team on sunday without any problems. Regardless of the minor personnel problems, the team is eager to redeem itself for the severe setback against HSV: "on wednesday, we want to show our normal performance again," promised midfielder sven bender.
The probable lineups:
Shakhtyor donezk: pyatov – rat, chygrynski, rakizki, srna – taison, fernandinho, stepanenko, teixeira – mchitarjan, luiz adriano
Borussia dortmund: weidenfeller – piszczek, subotic, hummels, schmelzer (bender) – kehl, bender (sahin) – blaszczykowski, gotze, reus – lewandowski
Referee: webb (england)