At the first pre-match press conference in the second half of the Bundesliga season, sporting director Michael Zorc and head coach Lucien Favre discussed personnel matters ahead of the trip to FC Augsburg as well as the strengths of their next opponent.
Lucien Favre had a small surprise in store at the first pre-match press conference since the winter break – though there had already been signs during the training camp that it was coming. “Giovanni Reyna will be in the squad on Saturday,” said the BVB head coach of the 17-year-old midfielder. The Swiss tactician then announced that the trio of new signing Erling Haaland, Marco Reus and Thorgan Hazard had trained normally throughout the entire week – but that the duo of Marcel Schmelzer and Thomas Delaney would definitely miss out in the Fugger city.
Dortmund’s sporting director is hopeful that newcomers Haaland and Reyna will provide fresh impetus. “Erling is the kind of striker and player we haven’t had before. Gio already made an outstanding impression in the USA in the summer. His physical development is already very advanced for a 17-year-old and it makes sense from a sporting perspective to promote him; he’ll certainly bring new momentum to the entire squad.”
"We need to be on our game from the first second!"
When asked what he would be expecting from the team on Saturday, Michael Zorc said: “A good performance, a good game and for the team to put the coach’s instructions into practice. We didn't play well there at all last year; Augsburg played with great passion. We know what will be awaiting us and we need to prepare ourselves for it. But we also have the means to counter it and, as we do for every game, we’ll go into it aiming to win.” Favre added: “FC Augsburg have changed more than half their team compared to the first half of the season. They had a good run and have put in some good performances – away from home too. We’ll need to produce a very good display on Saturday and we'll need to be on our game from the first second!" BVB claimed a 5-1 (1-1) victory in the reverse fixture, with Paco Alcácer (two), Marco Reus, Jadon Sancho and Julian Brandt grabbing the goals.