Early on Tuesday evening, Borussia Dortmund took to the pitch at their opponent's ground, the 50,095-capacity Estádio José Alvalade XXI, to prepare for their final away game of the Champions league group stages against Sporting Clube de Portugal.
Boris Rupert reporting from Lisbon
Whether it ends up being their final away game of this Champions League campaign will depend on the result. Marco Rose believes it is an "exciting group as far as the topic of second place is concerned. Tomorrow will see the two contenders go head-to-head. Outcome unclear." BVB would almost certainly be eliminated from the competition if they lose, with only a slim mathematical chance of progression remaining if they were to lose by one goal. If the game ends in a draw, the race will go down to the final matchday. A victory would take Borussia safely through to the last 16.
Defeat must be avoided! But the coach has no designs on a stalemate. "Playing for a draw is not an option," declared the coach, adding: "That won't work. So we'll play for the win. Like we always do. We've got a game plan, we've played the opponent before and beaten them, and we've also watched them again."
Marco Rose was joined at the press conference by Gregor Kobel. "We're aware that it is a very, very important match. We are Borussia Dortmund, we look forward to such games," said the goalkeeper, whose sights are firmly focused in one direction. "In principle, we want to win every match." The scenario heading into this game is therefore not all that different to any other game, even if Kobel did emphasise: "It is a must-win game. We will go into it with aggression and the necessary power." He continued: "When you join Borussia Dortmund, you look forward to exactly this kind of match. I hope there'll be a few more of this calibre to come."
On the personnel front, the coach must again shuffle his pack. Mats Hummels and Thorgan Hazard, who both played in Saturday's win against Stuttgart, are unavailable. Dan-Axel Zagadou could be an option in central defence. Rose said: "Daxo was injured for a very long time. We're happy that he's healthy and fit, and that he played well for over 60 minutes in Halle (editor's note: U23 game). We're happy that he will once again be an option for us. Possibly even tomorrow."