HomeSPORTSUCL: Borussia Dortmund's Sabitzer and Malen Set to Roar Against PSG

UCL: Borussia Dortmund’s Sabitzer and Malen Set to Roar Against PSG

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Afor Kenneth 

 

Coach Edin Terzic confirmed on Tuesday that Borussia Dortmund midfielder Marcel Sabitzer (30) and forward Donyell Malen (25) are expected to be fit for Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Paris St Germain.

Emre Can and Ian Maatsen will also be available after serving suspensions. Sabitzer, who was sidelined due to illness, and Malen, recovering from an injury sustained during last month’s international duty, have both resumed training.

“Marcel and Donyell both took part in training. We expect that they will be at our disposal tomorrow,” said Terzic. “Marcel is feeling better and we need him in his form from before his illness tomorrow.”

Dortmund has faced challenges in the league this season, highlighted by a recent 4-1 defeat to direct rivals RB Leipzig, which solidified Leipzig’s fourth-place position and left Dortmund in fifth with three matches remaining.

READ ALSO: Dortmund Stuns Atletico in Six-Goal Thriller, Secures Spot in Champions League Semi-Finals!

Securing a top-four finish is crucial as it guarantees qualification for the Champions League group stage next season.

Germany stands a good chance of earning a fifth Champions League spot based on their standing in UEFA’s coefficient table, contingent upon the outcomes of remaining European competitions this season.

Despite their league struggles, Dortmund’s impressive Champions League campaign has buoyed fans’ hopes for success.

Having won the Champions League in 1997, Dortmund’s encounter with PSG in the group stage ended with a 2-0 defeat in Paris and a 1-1 draw in Dortmund.

“You could sense in the return leg that we had learned the lessons from the first game,” Terzic said.

“Now PSG look to be at their very peak this season with only one defeat in 2024 and a good run of results. We will have to show an improved performance from that in Dortmund.”

“We are confident that will show it tomorrow and next week in Paris. The clear goal is to gain a small advantage after the game tomorrow. We know we have to play at least 180 minutes at the highest level to have any shot at our dream,” he said.

Terzic singled out Kylian Mbappe for praise, acknowledging his exceptional talent, but also emphasized that PSG presents a formidable attacking threat across the entire team.

“It’s the question you hear the most: ‘How do you stop Kylian Mbappe?’ But if you focus only on Kylian Mbappe, then comes Ousmane Dembele or (Goncalo) Ramos, or Vitinha, or (Achraf) Hakimi, or (Randal) Kolo Muani and all the others,” he said. “They have unbelievable quality.

“If we want to focus on one thing, then we need to focus on the ball. If we worry about the ball – there’s just one – then it’s much harder for them to score.”

Dortmund successfully navigated a challenging group stage, which included PSG, AC Milan, and Newcastle. They then proceeded to eliminate PSV Eindhoven and Atletico Madrid in the knockout stages to secure their spot in the semi-finals of the competition.

“Were we the favourites in the group? Against Atletico Madrid? I don’t know,” Terzic said when asked if his side will be underdogs against Paris.

“Maybe we’re the team with less experience, but we may have the greatest hunger.

“When everyone digs in, not just those on the field and on the bench but everyone in the stadium, we’ve got a huge opportunity – and we need to take it.”

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