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3. Liga

U23s to host Zwickau in Oberhausen

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The Borussia Dortmund U23s will close out a packed English week with a home fixture against FSV Zwickau (Sunday, 19 March, 14:00 CET). In their clash with the team from western Saxony, the Black & Yellows are facing another direct competitor in the fight against relegation. 

The Black & Yellow U23s face their next bout in the fight for survival in the 3. Liga this weekend. The match against Zwickau will be the next opportunity for the young Borussia side to pick up points they so desperately need: "That's the benefit of an English week - you don't have too much time to brood over things, you just have to look ahead right away and so now our focus turns to getting a win on Sunday and improving our position in the standings. We're still in with a shot, but we need to start picking up points,'' said coach Jan Zimmermann.

Regrettably, the same plan didn't come to fruition against fellow relegation-battlers Oldenburg. On Wednesday, BVB suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the side from Lower Saxony. It was a bitter pill to swallow, especially given the fact BVB missed a chance to go 2-1 up from the penalty spot and then conceded a last-minute goal against the run of play. ''It was a strange match. Our mistakes let Oldenburg into the game. We conceded the final goal right when it seemed like we were in control and were close to grabbing the winner ourselves. We can't let that happen,'' said a frustrated Dortmund head coach. 

The defeat stung all the more as it allowed Oldenburg to draw level on points with the Black & Yellows. Both teams now have 24 points to their name, the exact same as Sunday's opponents from Zwickau. The Swans parted ways with long-running head coach Joe Enochs in February. After a two-week interim period, the hiring of Ronny Thielemann was announced. The new head coach most recently worked in an assistant role at Magdeburg and Rostock. Zimmermann is expecting a "solid and compact side, who have picked up four points from their last three games. They will keep an even tighter shape than Oldenburg and will look to pounce on our mistakes. We can't hand out any gifts.''

BVB will hold fond memories of the reverse fixture in Zwickau, which ended in the side's first away win of the current season. The 2-1 victory also marked the start of a series of six games in a row unbeaten (four wins, two draws), which has proved the team's most successful run so far this season. In order to pick up another win against FSV, it is important that the squad make the most of the short turnaround before Sunday's match. "We have to regenerate well and take a close look at who has coped best with the strain, and who is in the condition to be a full fitness again on Sunday. And we have to work on our positioning to be better able to play our way through deep-lying opposition," said Zimmermann as he summarised his plan.

Borussia's youngsters will play the home match against the Red & Whites at the Niederrhein stadium in Oberhausen. Their first match at this venue three weeks ago proved an unequivocal success: a 4-0 triumph over Waldhof Mannheim, the biggest win of the season to date. Against Zwickau, BVB will be hoping to keep up their impressive record in Oberhausen.

The U23s' game against FSV Zwickau will be broadcast live on Magenta-TV.