The Borussia Dortmund women's handball team, whose squad is currently stretched thin due to injuries, will play host to Brest Bretagne in the Champions League on Saturday evening. The French outfit reached the final of the competition last season, where they lost to Vipers Kristiansand. The game at Helmut-Körnig-Halle starts at 18:00 CET.
"They are a very special team that has a different type of quality compared to Buducnost," said André Fuhr. The French club did lose two top players in the summer in the form of Ana Gros and Isabelle Gulldén, "but they still have an outstanding squad," according to the BVB boss, who added: "In Pauletta Foppa, they have one of the best pivots in all of Europe; they are strong in the back area with Kalidiatou Niakate, Monika Kobylinska and Helene Fauske; and of course they have an excellent goalkeeper in Sandra Toft."
The Borussia ladies know that they will have their work cut out on Saturday evening. "We will be challenged to the limit both in attack and defence," said Fuhr. One thing that won't help their cause is the fact that the Black & Yellows' personnel situation has become even more strained following the victory over Buxtehude on Wednesday, when Fatos Kücükyildiz became the latest name on a growing injury list after suffering torn ligaments. That means that André Fuhr will only have 11 fit players at his disposal for the Brest match.
"We have hardly any options to play a tactical game because we have no alternatives. We only have four players available for the back area due to the many injury absences," said the BVB coach. Nonetheless, his team will make the best of the match. "The team have always shown themselves to be combative so far and that's what I'm hoping to see in the game against Brest," Fuhr said.
The Black & Yellows will have time to take a bit of a breather after the Champions League encounter against the French side, with a week-long break set to follow before they return to action with a cup tie against TH Eilbeck from the Hamburgliga on 2 October (16:00 CET). That will be followed by an international break.
All things considered, Fuhr is happy with his team's development in the opening stages of the new season. "It's been very pleasing to date. Our performance in the first 40 minutes against Buxtehude on Wednesday was particularly outstanding – and that was between the two Champions League games. We're already enforcing the tempo in our play very well," said Fuhr, who is calling upon his charges to show a combative attitude on Saturday evening.
The Champions League clash with Brest Bretagne at Helmut-Körnig-Halle will get under way at 18:00 CET on Saturday evening. Tickets can be bought from the ticket office on the day; all info can be found here. The match will be streamed live on EHFTV.