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Pre-match report

U17s aiming to book place in German Championship semi-finals

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While Borussia's U17s will be looking to put their place in the semi-finals of the German Championship beyond any mathematical doubt in their away game against Borussia Mönchengladbach (11:00 CEST), the U19s will be targeting revenge against MSV Duisburg for their sole defeat of the Bundesliga campaign to date on Saturday (11:00 CEST).

Marco Lehmann has enjoyed a full training ground this week. "It was really down to business, you can sense the competition for places," reported Borussia's successful U17 coach. With the exception of Nick Cherny, who is no longer available this season, and Oliver Blaszczyk, whose return to training is however on the horizon, he will have the full squad at his disposal. Taycan Etcibasi, who arrived from Schalke 04 in the winter, is pushing for a starting berth following two cameo appearances. Elias Benkara and Ousmane Diallo, who were recently needed in the U19s, will additionally strengthen the team during the season run-in.

"We want to plan definitively for the semi-final and also try to oust Bayer Leverkusen from first place," said Marco Lehmann, setting his team a tough target. But first of all, they must mathematically secure second spot in the table in Mönchengladbach. BVB will go into the final two competitive matches with six more points and a +21 superior goal difference compared to Schalke 04 (in action against RW Essen on Sunday). FC Schalke 04 will be the visitors for the final match of the Bundesliga round on Saturday 27 April (13:00 CEST).

Despite the remaining uncertainties, Lehmann already has one eye on the possible opponent from the Bundesliga Nord/Nordost in the first and second legs of the German Championship semi-finals (1 and 5 May). Rasenballsport Leipzig currently top the table with two rounds of matches remaining and will be aiming to clinch the title this weekend against Viktoria Berlin. "They're a very strong team," Lehmann said of Leipzig.

Mike Tullberg watches semi-final opponents

Borussia's U19s will make the first appearance in front of their fans as West German champions when they face MSV Duisburg at the BVB-Jugendstadion on Saturday. "We will try out one or two things with a view to the German Championship matches, but we want to win every remaining Bundesliga match regardless of that," assured Mike Tullberg, who will let the team be coached by Daniel Rios on Saturday. The head coach will be in Berlin to watch his opponents in the German Championship semi-final in the Bundesliga Nord/Nordost top match between Hertha BSC and VfL Wolfsburg. Hertha currently lead the table by two points ahead of Wolfsburg.

The title winners still have a score to settle against Duisburg. BVB suffered the first and to date only Bundesliga defeat of Mike Tullberg's tenure in the reverse fixture (3-1). Borussia will be without captain Filippo Mane (torn muscle fibres), but central defender Leonardo Posadas is available again following a long injury absence and made his comeback in the 2-1 victory in Düsseldorf. (wiwi)