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Dortmund v Wolfsberger: Tuchel set for home bow

Thomas Tuchel’s first competitive home game as Borussia Dortmund coach comes on Thursday with the visit of Austrian side Wolfsberger in the UEFA Europa League.

The Bundesliga outfit boast a 1-0 lead in the third-qualifying-round tie thanks to Jonas Hofmann’s first-half strike at the Worthersee Stadion last week.

However, Tuchel’s men were far from their best – easing off the gas after dominating the first half – with this week’s visitors spurning opportunities to come into the second leg level.

While Dortmund showed glimpses of their potential in a 2-1 win over Real Betis at the weekend, Tuchel will hope to inspire confidence at Signal Iduna Park with just over a week to go until the Bundesliga gets under way.

Ilkay Gundogan has recovered from a cold and is available again although Erik Durm (knee) and Neven Subotic (back) remain doubtful with Oliver Kirch ruled out (thigh) ruled out.

Versatile full-back Kirch faces up to three weeks out through the injury that he sustained after he scored the second goal against Betis on Saturday.

Thursday’s game could also offer further signals as to Kevin Grosskreutz’s future with the club, having angered Tuchel with an interview in which he accused the club of not speaking to him in recent weeks.

The club were quick to deny a rift and, after Grosskrueutz came off the bench at the weekend, Tuchel stated: “Everything is fine between us. His criticism was not directed at me.”

While Dortmund were in non-competitive action, Wolfsberger’s Austrian Bundesliga campaign is up and running, Dietmar Kuhbauer’s side drawing 0-0 with 10-man Ried on Sunday.

With one point from their opening two games, Wolfsberger sit seventh.

Despite an inauspicious start to their league campaign, Kuhbauer saw enough from his side’s first-leg performance to give him confidence going into Thursday’s encounter.

“We have seen that they are not supermen and have only two legs,” Kuhbauer remarked following last week’s reversal.

“We were able to keep up with them and that was important to see.

“The chances of progressing are there although it will be difficult.”

Tue 4 Aug, 2015
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