Nothing is normal in these weeks and months. And that's why the preparations for the final group match in the UEFA Champions League against Zenit St. Petersburg are a little different than usual. The safety of the team and the delegation are the top priority in these times of a pandemic.
Usually, the last training session takes place on the eve of the meeting in the opponent's stadium, so the players can also familiarise themselves with the local conditions and get a feeling for the pitch and the stadium. However, Borussia Dortmund will forgo that option before the away match against Zenit St. Petersburg. Instead, the last training session before the match will take place today, Monday morning, in Dortmund.
The team will not board the team Airbus until Monday afternoon. The flight time for the approximately 1,700-kilometre journey to St. Petersburg is calculated at two hours and 40 minutes, meaning that the delegation will arrive at the hotel at around 20:30 local time (with a two-hour time difference to Germany). Only the dinner and a team meeting are on the agenda for the evening.
The obligatory pre-match preparations for match day will only be carried out in the form of a light warm-up at the hotel. In order to have as little external contact as possible, the team decided not to look for a training ground. That would have been difficult anyway, as all the pitches have been frozen for weeks – and, we are told, the de-icing systems have frozen too!
After the final whistle, we will head straight from the stadium to the airport on Tuesday evening. Due to the ban on night-time landings in Dortmund, the return flight will touch down in Paderborn, with a scheduled landing time of 2:15 (CET). Buses will then take the team and the small delegation to Brackel. (br)