Friday is when it gets going again, with the resumption of Bundesliga action after the international break. The home match against Eintracht Frankfurt is the first of seven matches that the Borussia Dortmund first team will play within 23 days.

Lucien Favre will have to face the reigning cup winners without the injured Raphael Gurreiro and Ömer Toprak, whilst Christian Pulisic's involvement is still very much in doubt. According to head coach Lucien Favre, the attacking player's condition has definitely improved but he added that: ''Friday is probably going to be too soon for him.'' The coach will be able to make plans involving Jacob Bruun Larsen, who scored four goals in the 6-0 friendly victory in Osnabrück: the Dane has recovered sufficiently from a fever and is back in training.

The squad have been training intensively in the past few days despite the reduced numbers due to players away on international duty, which has meant that the team have been unable to work on the tactical aspect of their game. ''We had no central defenders,'' said Favre. Toprak was out injured, Zagadou was away with the France U21s, whilst ''Diallo and Akanji are only just back today.'' The Swiss coach stated that focus had been placed on ''other things,'' without going into further details. Question marks remain over new arrival Paco Alcácer's involvement, whether in the starting line-up or on the bench. ''He's the kind of player you can combine with - he plays football, he's got talent in front of goal. We need to integrate him bit by bit.''

Alcácer is an option for the centre forward role. In midfield, there is currently an over-abundance of high-quality players. Looking ahead to the busy weeks to come, the head coach remarked that: ''Every player will be required.'' Nonetheless on Friday he will unavoidably have a few difficult decisions to make. ''It's important to be honest,'' said Favre. ''We're only allowed 16 players in the squad.''

Borussia want to get their busy schedule underway with a win against a strong opponent, who whenever they win the ball will look to play it forwards directly and quickly. ''We always want to win,'' stated Favre, ''but as I've said before, we need time, I need time to figure out which system works best.''

Boris Rupert