Borussia's U19s will take on MSV Duisburg at the youth stadium in Brackel in their final Bundesliga match of the year. "We want to sign off for the winter break with a decent performance and a victory," said head coach Mike Tullberg. The match will kick off at 11:00 CET on Sunday and will be broadcast live on BVB TV and YouTube.
The preparations for the clash with the 'Zebras' have been different to usual, with three players – Nnamdi Collins, Julian Rijkhoff and Samuel Bamba – part of the Borussia squad on the Asia Tour. They will only link up with the squad for the final training session. "That's definitely a minor disadvantage, but the primary objective for us academy coaches is to develop talents for the first team. We're therefore happy that three of our lads were involved and gained new experiences," said Tullberg, as he reflected on the involvement of his key performers with mixed feelings.
Players from the U17s have been bolstering the group recently. "We've trained well," said a satisfied Tullberg of the past fortnight. The Black & Yellows also played a friendly fixture against Viktoria Cologne, which they won by a 3-2 scoreline (goals: Simic x2 & Onofrietti). The focus has since been on the game against MSV Duisburg, a well-organised opponent that – in Tullberg's opinion – "will rely on counter-attacks and set-pieces. Two-thirds of the teams in the Bundesliga West this season are battling against relegation; Duisburg are not among them." Duisburg currently occupy fourth spot with 18 points, behind 1. FC Cologne and Borussia Dortmund (level on 24 points) and Schalke 04 (22).
BVB are currently on a 30-game unbeaten run in the Bundesliga since Mike Tullberg took over the reins in the early summer of 2020. "It should stay that way," grinned the Dane, who is hoping to see much better chance conversion compared to the previous games. For that reason, he is particularly delighted with Samuel Bamba's goal haul during the Asia Tour. Bamba scored three times in three friendly appearances. "That should boost his self-confidence," explained Tullberg. The pacey Bamba has only found the net twice in 10 A-Junior Bundesliga games this season.
Once competitive fixtures are over, several of the lads will train with the senior squad; the majority will have until 9 January to recover from the demands of the autumn season.