No Matter How...
Tomorrow evening Borussia Dortmund is going to face 1. FC Saarbrücken in DFB-Pokal and will try to step up to the quarter-finals. By now it seems to be, that the upcoming match is tremendous ill-omened. Not less than seven (!) regular players had to turn coach Jürgen Klopp down, namely Marcel Schmelzer, Mats Hummels, Neven Subotic, Nuri Sahin, Sven Bender, Marco Reus, and Ilkay Gündogan. Tonight I would not like to be in the shoes of Jürgen Klopp, due to the fact that patching a starting XI together, seems to me like a dice game. In these days injury concerns are the subject of conversation in Dortmund-Brackel.
Therefore it is hardly surprising that Klopp aligned his players during today's media conference. "We will not leave something to chance. We want to reach the next round," Klopp told. "You have to be ready to make a mistake, but if you let them get you down, you won't be successful. We all know about the bad situation Saarbrücken goes through, but won't overrate it. We're facing an opponent that wants to reach the quarter-finals as hard as we do. It's our task to prevent Saarbrücken from getting any chance to reach it."
Due to the grotesque injury crisis, a mixed baggage of players from the first and second squad started for Saarbrücken this afternoon. While Klopp speculated that Marian Sarr, Jannik Bandowski, Mustafa Amini, Marvin Ducksch, and Tammo Harder could support the remainig players (Weidenfeller, Langerak, Sokratis, Großkreutz, Durm, Kehl, Kirch, Blaszczykowski, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang, Schieber, Lewandowski, Piszczek, and Hofmann), this move has been confirmed in the meantime.
The situation is further aggravated by the fact, that several players have smaller injury problems (Durm, Lewandowski, Blaszczykowski) or are not ready for further stress (Piszczek). "We have to weigh if it's advantageous for Lukasz Piszcek to play again. Furthermore Erik, Lewy and Kuba got some problems. We take this competition seriously and I'm afraid that Saarbrücken will do this, too. Every further message of our injuries that will reach Saarbrücken, will grow their confidence and joy for the match," Klopp said.
Regardless of the bad situation 1. FC Saarbrücken has to face in 3. Liga - the club is currently the last but one with a gap of four points between them and dry land - one should not underestimate the team. With eliminating SC Paderborn as well as Werder Bremen in the previous rounds, Saarbrücken gained public's respect. "They gave an impressive display in the DFB-Pokal but have some problems in 3. Liga. We are aware of that and are going to start with the best XI. We are going to face up to this competion but are still uncertain which 11 players we're going to field," Klopp told today. We should always keep in mind, that an injured animal is probably more dangerous than an healthy one. In the same way Klopp expects the style of play from Saarbrücken.
"I think they are going to play really courageous. We'll be prepared for every scenario. On the weekend they lost narrowly against Leipzig, it's going to be a fight by hook or crook. If we want to make use of a feeling of superiority, we are totally wrong. When we won the DFB-Pokal in 2012, we took every opponent really serious, every opponent is relevant. We didn't have an easy time in 2012 to reach the final, we had to work really hard in every single match. I remember Düsseldorf, Fürth, and Kiel. This is our history. We want to reach the next round, no matter how hard it's going to be," the coach stated.
I would like to complete this small report with another quote by Jürgen Klopp, that underlines the importance of tomorrow's match: "We don't have that many opportunities to win trophies, this is why we shouldn't waste them." Although we are going through a massive injury crisis, it is still all about Borussia Dortmund, and it is still all about reaching the next round. No matter how and which starting XI will reach the next round, just do it Black and Yellow boys!
1 FC. Saarbrücken: Ochs - Falkenberg, Knipping, Fischer, Marque - Forkel, Korte - Plut, Deville, Hoffmann - Ziemer.
Borussia Dortmund: Langerak - Großkreutz, Sokratis, Friedrich, Durm - Kehl, Hofmann - Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan, Blaszczykowski (Ducksch) - Lewandowski (Schieber).
Substitute's Bench: Weidenfeller, Sarr, Bandowski, Amini, Kirch, Harder, Ducksch, Schieber, Piszczek.
Referee: Marco Fritz (Korb)
Kickoff: 3rd of December 2013 - 8.30. P.M. CET.
Attendance: Ludwigsparkstadion, 30,000 (sold out)