Sunday, July 23, 2017

Borussia Dortmund v Krasnodar: Free-scoring hosts braced for group stage

SoccerNews in UEFA Europa League 15 Sep 2015

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Thomas Tuchel’s Borussia Dortmund will hope to continue their impressive Europa League form into the group stages on Thursday when they host Krasnodar at Signal Iduna Park.

As well as starting his reign at Dortmund with four successive Bundesliga victories, Tuchel has enjoyed an eventful progression through the qualification stages.

Having progressed past Wolfsberger in the third qualifying round with a 6-0 aggregate victory, Dortmund took their Europa League goal tally for the season to 17 from four games after putting 11 past Odd over two legs.

Grouped alongside PAOK and Gabala, Tuchel will hope to see his side maintain their lethal finishing and reach the competition’s knockout stages for the first time.

In 2010-11, Jurgen Klopp’s Dortmund crashed out at the group stage, with Tuchel’s hopes of progression somewhat hampered by a recent injury to Marco Reus.

The Germany international is reportedly struggling to be fit for Thursday’s clash due to a toe problem, although Lukasz Piszczek and Adrian Ramos could return from their respective injury troubles.

Tuchel’s men face a Krasnodar side featuring in their second successive group-stage campaign and on a three-match unbeaten run away from home in European competition.

Ahead of the 2,400-mile journey to Signal Iduna Park, Krasnodar midfielder Wanderson spoke of the confidence within the visiting camp.

“I played in Brazil, when the stadium was about 50-60,000 fans, and so it’s an amazing feeling,” the Brazilian told his club’s official website.

“Yes, in Dortmund there will be pressure from the stands, of course, but we will have to cope with it without losing concentration.

“I respect all opponents that we have been drawn with but, nevertheless, I believe that we have a great chance to reach the next stage. 

“You just need to believe in yourself, work hard in training and do what we can.”

Tuchel’s opposite number Oleg Kononov has faced Dortmund before while in charge of Karpaty Lviv in 2010 and the Krasnodar boss will need no reminder of the quality Dortmund pose.

Karpaty were beaten 4-3 at home and 3-0 away, with current Dortmund players Nuri Sahin, Mats Hummels and Shinji Kagawa all on target across the two games.

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