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Pre-match report

U23s aiming to extend run in Köln

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The Borussia Dortmund U23s are unbeaten in seven matches in the 3. Liga and are looking to pick up more points away to Viktoria Köln at Sportpark Höhenberg at 19:00 CET on Friday. Coach Jan Zimmermann can count on several returnees but must replace Falko Michel, who is serving a three-game suspension for a red card.

Bjarne Pudel, Abdoulaye Kamara and Antonios Papadoupoulos have been back in training for several days and could "be an option", according to coach Jan Zimmermann. In Viktoria Köln, a strong footballing opponent that has recently won two matches on the bounce awaits BVB. "Viktoria Köln have a high level of individual quality and are very confident on the ball," said the BVB boss, who continued: "They play really good football if you allow them." The 42-year-old believes the task facing his team is to prevent them from doing just that: "We have to keep the gaps small, apply pressure and dictate the tempo ourselves."

Viktoria are still without talented summer signing Donny Bogicevic, in addition to Moritz Frits, Bryan Henning and Niklas May. Lars Dietz, a former BVB player who laced his football boots for the Black & Yellows from U11 to U23 level, will be part of the defensive setup. Viktoria have kept a clean sheet on only four occasions this season and have already suffered seven defeats. 

BVB will head to Sportpark Höhenberg with the third-strongest defence in the league and will face another tough task there. Viktoria have already scored 36 goals and have failed to find the net in only one match. Their top scorer is 26-year-old Luca Marseiler, who has scored nine goals and assisted an additional five in 23 appearances.

Kick-off at Stadion Höhenberg is at 19:00 CET on Friday and will take place in parallel to a match of the Bundesliga team for the 15th time.