Borussia Dortmund are on a three-game winning streak in all competitions, and will be aiming to extend that run to four matches when they host Union Berlin in the Bundesliga on Sunday (kick-off at 17:30 CET).
Having recently beaten Hoffenheim and Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, BVB recorded a Champions League triumph against Besiktas in Istanbul in midweek. "We want to build on this momentum," said head coach Marco Rose on Friday, adding: "But we also need to remain hungry; we should keep wanting more and improving things. It is all about us continuing our development and trying to pick up the next points and take our next steps as a team."
Though his team created many goalscoring opportunities in Istanbul, "we also had spells in which we were too passive. Off the ball we didn't quite perform as well as I would have liked." When the preparations for the Union Berlin game get under way on Saturday, "we will speak with the lads, show them video footage and ask for things moving forward".
Julian Brandt, who was subbed off at half-time in Turkey, will not be in contention for Sunday. He has sustained a muscular injury and is expected to be sidelined for two weeks. But in better news, Thorgan Hazard is back in training with his team-mates once again. "We're hoping that we might be able to have him back on the bench," said Rose, who then turned his attentions to Mats Hummels, another player who came off in Istanbul. "He didn't have any major problems after the match; he was just very tired. I'm assuming that it'll all be fine."
While BVB were involved on the international stage on Wednesday, Union played their UEFA Conference League opener on Thursday. The men from Köpenick lost 3-1 away to Slavia Prague. "It is always challenging to play international football in midweek and in the Bundesliga on the weekends. We're not sad about the fact our opponent has been under a similar strain, but that won't be a major advantage," said Rose, who went on to praise the men from Berlin. "They played well last night. Union have been developing into a strong team for years under Urs Fischer's tutelage."
Union have made their best-ever start to a Bundesliga campaign this term and occupy eighth place in the table. The capital club are unbeaten in six games, with their last defeat a 3-0 loss in Wolfsburg on 8 May. However, they have drawn three of their four games. Rose said: "Union are an unpleasant opponent. They're very hard-working, compact and make it difficult to find spaces. You always need to beware when it comes to switch-play. They also have a clear plan when in possession. They're a really good team that are fun to watch for football fans."