Borussia Dortmund carry two away goals into their second leg match with Shakhtar Donestk on home turf in the Last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.
A late goal from Mats Hummels in Ukraine gave Jurgen Klopp a positive result to bring back to Signal Iduna Park with Robert Lewandowski also on the scoresheet in Donestk.
The Polish forward returned prematurely from suspension against Hannover 96 in league action on Saturday, scoring twice and dusting off the critics of his performance in their Pokal defeat to FC Bayern.
Any victory and draw will do Dortmund, assuming they hold Shakhtar to less than two goals in the match, and the Germans will adopt a intense, yet still cautious, approach tonight.
“We are in a good starting position.” Marcel Schmelzer said. “We must approach the game the same but a bit more concentrated than in the last three games. If we do that again, then we’ll get into the next round.
“They are still very fresh. They have only done two games this year. This makes them very dangerous, especially on the attack with their fast Brazilians players. We have to be very careful.”
Borussia Dortmund should be able to call upon the services of defender Mats Hummels, who has missed the last two games through a virus, and have a clean bone of a health for tonight’s match.
Given the strengths of FC Bayern in the Bundesliga, Dortmund have committed to their Champions League campaign following their disappointing performances in European competition in the seasons previously.
“I have read it would be a lost season if we don’t go though. I think that’s very harsh.” Klopp told the press last night. “We have a big opportunity to finish second in the Bundesliga – we wouldn’t have dreamed of that three years ago.
“It is a very, very important match for us because this side have the opportunity of reaching something new, the quarter-finals of the Champions League.”
Polish midfielder Jakub Blaszczykowski agreed in his interview with bvb.de on Saturday: “We have never said that it is a bad season. We’re second in the league, which is not bad. This season, FC Bayern are really strong. We played well the last two seasons. That’s hard to top.
“Of course we want to be champions every season, but that is difficult. We do not play as well as last year, but still good. We have a chance to get into the quarter-finals of the Champions League. And I hope on Tuesday by 11pm we are all happy.”
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