Sporting director Michael Zorc greeted the waiting media representatives at today's pre-match press conference with a friendly "Bonjour". That's normally Lucien Favre's greeting of choice, but the head coach from French-speaking Switzerland was absent through illness. However, there has been good news concerning the goalkeepers.

While Favre was forced to miss the final training session and instead rested in bed, shot-stoppers Roman Bürki and Marwin Hitz were present. "For both goalkeepers, there's a genuine hope that they'll be available tomorrow," explained Zorc. The same applies for full-back Lukasz Piszczek, who has had a foot injury. Marcel Schmelzer and Jadon Sancho have both recovered from their colds and are available for selection again, though the illness has left its mark. "Both are still slightly weak. We'll need to see whether they'll make the starting XI," Zorc explained.

It remains equally unclear whether Lucien Favre will be on the sidelines. "He's been suffering from poor health the past few days. Now he's completely laid up," explained Zorc. Only on the day of the match will a decision be taken as to "whether it's possible and whether it makes sense to put him in the dugout".

Zorc is expecting "an interesting match", recalling that previous encounters between the clubs "have always been close". The sporting director is hoping for as much fan support as possible – "in a period where one or two people aren't available, that's necessary" – against a "physically robust team who have their strengths going forward".

In the absence of their No. 11, Marco Reus, BVB will be hoping their 12th man can carry them to a 10th home win of the season.
Boris Rupert