Its gonna be a tough one
We are writing the 12th of Febuary and it is a little more than 24 hours away that our beloved Ballspielverein will hopefully conquer the East of Europe and play a tough game against Schachtar DOnetsk from the Ukraine in the round of the remaining 16 in the Champions League. It has been a long time since we have last been among those last 16 and it will be an exciting match for all of us.
Donetsk is not unknown to us. We played against them in the qualification games in 2001 already when we got the chance to qualify for the Champions League after we had reached the table position 3 in the season before. Back then, the games went well. we survived in Donetsk and managed them at home as well and the way to the group games of the CL was free to go. Well, we kind of did poorly afterwards - or at least, could not manage to stay and went to the UEFA Cup instead - but that is a different story. Tomorrow, we will be facing Schachtar again and it will be a different game then. Donetsk proved in the past that they can compete with German teams as well as other teams from all across Europe. In 2009, Donetsk beat Werder Bremen in the Euro League Final and celebrated a big success. This year, they had a tough group with the likes of Juventus Turin and current Champions League Winner Chelsea. They managed to leave Chelsea behind, which is why we will face them tomorrow.
During the group phase, DOnezk player Adriano managed to basically present himself as the most unfair player you could imagine for scoring a goal after a fairplay ball and even celebrating it. The world of football was appalled and hopefully our team will be able to show at least Adriano how fair football is to be played. But there are big worries for us at the moment. Of course the defeat at home against Hamburg was a slight shock for us and there are better ways to start into a Champions League week, but we all know that these things can happen and before our victory against Madrid we played poorly against the blue ones from next door, so maybe this is a good sign after all. Rather bad signs, however, are the numbers of injuries that darken the situation at the moment. Gündogan did not travel to Donetsk, however, Schmelzer seems to be back in the squad. Also Piszczek seems to be dealing with injury troubles again for quite a while now - things could simply look better, even though Lukasz will continue playing for the Ballspielverein. As much as we all love Bender, it was obvious in the game against Hamburg that the left side of the defense will not become his favourite and strong side.
On a positive note, Subotic will be able to play again and hopefully give our defense the needed stability. When we faced the draw of Schachtar Donezk back in December, we all knew that this was not going to be easy. It was actually the draw that most people were scared of the most. Schachtar is a strong team that has been on the rise for the past years and will do all they can to survive this round of the last 16. Let's make it as difficult as possible for them and prove to them why we are still there on the big stage and why we wish to continue to be there. Come on Ballspielverein, we will keep all our fingers crossed, and with a tough fight, we all know that you can do it!
Schachtar Donezk: Pyatov - Rat, Chygrynskyy, Rakytskyy, Srna - Taison, Fernandinho, Stepanenko, Alex Teixeira - G. Mkhitaryan - Luiz Adriano
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer (Santana) - Blaszczykowski, Kehl, S. Bender - M. Götze, Lewandowski, Reus
Referee: Howard Webb (England)
Stadium: Donbass Arena