Thomas Tuchel has called for a change in attitude from Borussia Dortmund when they take on a depleted Eintracht Frankfurt at Signal Iduna Park on Sunday.
Tuchel’s men were guaranteed Europa League progression prior to Thursday’s 1-0 defeat to PAOK, but the loss angered the Dortmund coach, who saw his side slip to second in Group C as a result of Krasnodar’s 3-0 win over Qabala.
However, Dortmund return to domestic action on Sunday against a side they traditionally do well against – losing just one of their last 19 home competitive matches against Frankfurt.
Bayern Munich’s defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach offered further incentive to Dortmund, who sit five points behind in second, but Tuchel feels a more professional approach is necessary from his side.
“The task has been made all the more difficult by the fact that we didn’t play to our potential,” explained the former Mainz boss, whose side are the only team to score in every Bundesliga game this term, after the PAOK match.
“After the step backwards that we made, we now need to take two steps forward and show a complete change in our attitude.
“We need to learn from what happened here, go through the difficult process of getting back on track and perform here on Sunday in a way which makes the fans happy.”
Frankfurt make the trip to Dortmund off the back of a local derby defeat to Darmstadt – Aytac Sulu’s first-half winner condemning Frankfurt to a third consecutive league reverse that leaves them 13th in the table.
Armin Veh’s men have won just one of their last 12 competitive outings and the Frankfurt coach will be without the suspended trio of Marc Stendera, Marco Russ, Carlos Zambrano, while Stefan Reinartz misses out with injury.
Young midfielder David Kinsombi could make a rare appearance due to Frankfurt’s key absences, but Veh is confident the 19-year-old will handle the occasion.
“I do not want to talk about a performance, but rather see one,” Veh said on Friday. “[Reinartz] has improved but he is unlikely to be fit.
“Kinsombi has always done good things in training. Now he has the chance to play.
“He does not have much to lose as a young player. It is easier for him to go into the game and look forward.”
Dortmund could see Erik Durm and Nuri Sahin pushing for a place in the squad after missing the trip to Greece amid their recovery from knee injuries.
Key Opta stats:
– Borussia have won 40 of their 84 Bundesliga games against Frankfurt including four of the last five encounters. They have beaten Sunday’s opponents more often than any other side in the top flight.
– Only the Dortmund team of 1963-64 (45) can beat the current side’s total of 42 goals after 15 games.
– Dortmund are unbeaten in 11 home league games – this is currently the longest run of such in the Bundesliga.
– Frankfurt are on the verge of becoming the first side to suffer 600 Bundesliga defeats.