Borussia's U19s are aiming for their first Youth League win of the season when they visit Sevilla on Matchday 3. Kick-off at the Estadio Jesús Navas is at 16:00 CET on Wednesday (5/10).
"We still have qualification for the play-off round in our own hands. But for that to remain possible, a win would be preferable," said coach Mike Tullberg as he reflected upon the state of play in the competition, which started with two avoidable defeats for the Black & Yellows. "After the red card in the 2-0 defeat against a strong FC Copenhagen side, we had to play for more than 40 minutes with one player fewer. We produced our best performance in the Youth League in the 3-2 loss in Manchester, but unfortunately could not see our 2-1 lead through to the end," he said, in reference to the misfortune of the opening two games.
The players were not yet quite on the same page against Copenhagen. The performance in Manchester was much improved, especially the second half away to the Citizens, who were heavy favourites. Tullberg is hoping for a similar improvement against Sevilla. "For us, it's not advantageous that the lads who are coming from the U23s lack match practice. But they also have a big opportunity to draw attention to themselves on the international stage and showcase themselves." They have now also managed to complete two training sessions with the U19s.
Silas Ostrzinski, who made his debut for the U23s in the 1-1 draw against 1860 Munich, has served his suspension and will bolster the ranks along with Göktan Gürpüz and Lion Semic. Jaden Korzynietz is still unavailable; Mike Tullberg expects to him to return in the next game away to SC Paderborn (Saturday).
Tullberg sees Sevilla as a "worthy opponent". The Spaniards lost 5-1 to Manchester City in the opening game, having led 1-0, before succumbing to a 4-1 defeat against FC Copenhagen. In their domestic league, they currently occupy third spot in their group behind Real Betis and Malaga. "Individually, we're not as strong as we were last year and for that reason we need to play compactly as a team. If we can manage that, then we have a good chance of getting points. We will try everything in our power to remain in international competition over the winter," assured Mike Tullberg. (wiwi)