Thursday, July 27, 2017

Borussia Dortmund v PAOK: BVB still hoping to top Group C

SoccerNews in UEFA Europa League 8 Dec 2015

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Borussia Dortmund will be aiming to snatch top spot in Group C when they host PAOK in the Europa League on Thursday.

The German team find themselves behind FC Krasnodar on the head-to-head record between the teams after losing 1-0 to the Russian club last time out in Europe.

Both sides have already qualified for the knockout stages, so Dortmund need to better Krasnodar’s result against Qabala if they are to grab first place.

Since the 1-0 defeat at Kuban Stadium, Thomas Tuchel’s side have won back-to-back games in the Bundesliga, including a dramatic 2-1 triumph at Wolfsburg on Saturday.

It seemed Dortmund had surrendered victory when Ricardo Rodriguez converted a penalty in injury time, only for Shinji Kagawa to grab an injury-time winner for Dortmund.

Without injured defensive duo Mats Hummels and Sokratis Papastathopoulos at the Volkswagen Arena, Tuchel deployed midfielder Sven Bender in the centre of defence.

Bender could well be paired again with Neven Subotic, who celebrates his 27th birthday on Thursday.

“When you have played in defensive midfield for years, it is not going to be your preferred position,” Bender told Sky.

“But as I have already said, given the way we currently play football at BVB, this position suits me.

“I feel more comfortable all the time, though I still like playing in defensive midfield too.”

PAOK, meanwhile, are playing only for pride. They have failed to record a victory in this season’s competition, managing four draws in five games so far.

They held Dortmund to a 1-1 result in Greece, Gonzalo Castro’s second-half equaliser for the visitors cancelling out Robert Mak’s opener in the 34th minute.

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