The Borussia Dortmund contingent have again arrived in Marbella, situated directly on the Spanish Mediterranean Coast, where they will be holding their winter training camp over the coming 09 days. The league leaders will be preparing intensively for the second half of the Bundesliga campaign, which will get under way on 19 January (18:30 CET) with a trip to RB Leipzig, at the "Dama de Noche" training complex.

"I think that the second half of the season will be very difficult, because we have a lot of tough away games against opponents who will try to take points off of us. That's why we still need to work on a few things now," said Marcel Schmelzer in an interview with BVB TV.

The mid-season preparations, which began on Thursday with a series of performance tests, will now continue on the training ground in Spain. "17 degrees and sunshine – those are good conditions," said coach Lucien Favre.

Paco Alcácer (rehab after fibre tear), Jacob Bruun Larsen (knee ligament strain), Abdou Diallo and Dan-Axel Zagadou (both low on fitness following injuries) are training individually. Mahmoud Dahoud is momentarily sidelined with an infection, as is Thomas Delaney with calf problems.

A recurrence of a hip problem has stopped Manuel Akanji from joining his team-mates in Spain. The 23-year-old will continue to be examined in the coming days. Jadon Sancho, meanwhile, will not arrive in Marbella until Saturday due to his grandmother's funeral. Youth players Amos Pieper, Julian Schwermann (both U23s) and Tobias Raschl (U19s) make up the squad.

The first of the winter friendlies – against domestic rivals Fortuna Düsseldorf – will take place on Monday (7 January, 16:00 CET) and will be shown live on BVB TV and SPORT1.
Patrick Eckholt

On Saturday, there will be two training sessions at the "Dama de Noche" complex – at 10:00 CET and 16:30 CET. Both will be open to the public.