It may seem like Group G is a dead rubber at this point; each team’s place in the final standings is set in stone. But ”we still have something to play for,” said head coach Edin Terzic the evening prior to the match away to FC Copenhagen. Namely form, honour, and the 2.8 million euros that UEFA give out as a reward for each win in the competition.
Boris Rupert reporting from Copenhagen
Borussia Dortmund – like all other clubs involved in European competition – find themselves facing a fifth consecutive English week, with a sixth to follow next week. “We want to maintain our rhythm, stick with the things that have worked well and improve the things that aren’t quite as good as we’d like,” said Terzic, who hinted that he will rotate the starting XI but not completely overhaul it. “There are various factors that will play into which line-up we decide on.” He said he will gauge where his players stand on Tuesday evening and again after a final session on Wednesday morning before arriving at a decision: “We will put out a good team.”
Ongoing stresses in the personnel department – the list of absentees is made up of Reus and Guerreiro (training in Dortmund), Wolf (undergoing a check-up), Rothe (knee injury), Bynoe-Gittens, Dahoud (both shoulder surgery), Haller (tumour ), Meunier (fractured cheekbone) and Morey (knee surgery) – mean Terzic doesn’t have much scope to make changes. “We travelled with quite a small group and would have liked it to be bigger. Everyone on the pitch tomorrow absolutely deserves to be there. We’re looking forward to featuring one or two who haven’t played much recently.”
Salih Özcan is keen for more action in Europe’s elite club competition: “There is nothing better than playing in the Champions League. It’s a stage on which you can really show what you’re capable of. We are not going into this game thinking we can just drop points. We want to keep up our good run.” BVB are now unbeaten in four games across all competitions (a 2-0 win in Hannover in the cup, a 0-0 draw against Manchester City and respective 5-0 and 2-1 wins over Stuttgart and Frankfurt in the league). “We still have four games until the World Cup,” Terzic stressed, adding: “And we want to win these four games.” FC Copenhagen may be out of the competition, but they remain undefeated at home after holding both Sevilla and Man City to 0-0 draws. Tomorrow the Danes will be gunning for their first win, but the Black & Yellows will have other ideas.