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Pre-match report

BVB aiming to secure place in last 16 with win in Milan

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Matchday 5 of this season’s UEFA Champions League sees Borussia Dortmund travel to face AC Milan on Tuesday. Kick-off in the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium is scheduled for 21:00 CET. 

Going into the fifth round of fixtures, Borussia Dortmund sit atop a stacked Group F, ahead of Paris St. Germain, AC Milan and Newcastle United. Back-to-back wins over Newcastle have been enough to push the Black & Yellows to the top of the standings, meaning their hopes of qualifying for the Round of 16 are in their own hands. In fact, three points away in Milan would be enough to secure a place in the knock-out stage with a game to spare. “We’ve worked our way into a good position, top of the group after four games,’’ said BVB coach Edin Terzic as he reflected on the tight battle in the group, in which all of the four teams could still end up finishing in either top or bottom place. “All four teams can still qualify, but we are right at the top. We can reach ten points if we get a win, which won’t be easy, but is definitely possible. We will do all we can to travel home as winners and book our place in the next round. That’s our goal.” 

The coach will have to do without centre-back Niklas Süle, who has remained in Dortmund due to illness. Nico Schlotterbeck has a slight cold but, unlike his defensive colleague, has made the trip to Italy. He completed an individual session in the hotel on Monday, but should be back on the pitch for the final session on Tuesday morning. Sebastien Haller and Karim Adeyemi, who were absent against Mönchengladbach on Saturday due to illness, have also made the trip. Haller was able to train with the team on Sunday, while Adeyemi rejoined his colleagues for the final training session. "We're assuming that both will be fit," said Terzic, looking ahead to the game with confidence. Marcel Sabitzer "has a very good chance of playing". The midfielder had to be substituted off against Gladbach "because he felt a twinge in his thigh".

Reverse fixture was tight and evenly-matched

In the first leg in Dortmund at the beginning of October, the two teams played out a goalless draw. "It was a very close, very even game. There were phases in which we were close to taking the lead, but Milan could also have been in front," said Terzic. "Both teams defended well and with passion. There were few mistakes. Tomorrow will be a new challenge. We have respect for our opponents, but also confidence in our strengths."

The Italians claimed their first win in this year's group stage three weeks ago when they beat Paris St. Germain 2-1 at home. Milan currently sit third in the Italian Serie A, behind city rivals Inter Milan and Juventus. They beat Fiorentina 1-0 at the weekend.

This is not Terzic's first match in the technical area at the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium. He was present as assistant coach at BVB's last appearance at the San Siro, against Inter Milan in 2019. "We know not only about the beauty of the venue, but also about the emotion. Milan can count on the support of their fans, just like we can. That's something this stadium has perhaps never seen before: support like this for a visiting team. We're looking forward to that."
Christina Reinke