BVB will go head-to-head with Istanbul club Besiktas in their final UEFA Champions League group game on Tuesday evening (21:00 CET). "Prestige is at stake," said Marco Rose ahead of the meeting, which will not have any impact on the group standings.
The final positions in Group C have already been determined before kick-off: BVB will end the group phase in third place and move over into the UEFA Europa League after the winter break. Opponents Besiktas have already been condemned to bottom spot in the group and will be eliminated from European competition altogether. And yet the match carries great significance for the Black & Yellows. "The Champions League is always something special, you can never play in it often enough. The game is important for the team," said forward Steffen Tigges, speaking on behalf of his team-mates. "We're athletes; we want to go into the match with a spring in our step and finish every game as successfully as possible."
His coach Marco Rose added: "Prestige is at stake, we want to end the group on a successful note. It's a case of wanting to provide a top performance even in a game like this, being present from the first minute, throwing yourself into every challenge, playing front-foot football and sending a signal that you take every game seriously and want to win."
On the eve of the match, however, the unlucky 3-2 defeat to Bayern Munich remained a talking point. "We were not able to make a statement with the result, but we did with our performance. That's important as well, and we need to carry that over into the upcoming matches," said Rose, adding: "I had a restless night, because we felt we had been treated unjustly. But at some point we should draw a line under it, tomorrow is Champions League."
The head coach hinted there would be personnel changes against Besiktas. Axel Witsel and Donyell Malen will feature from the start. Other players who have recently recovered from injury problems will need to be managed carefully, with Saturday's Bundesliga match in Bochum in mind. "It's clear that we won't be able to play Erling Haaland for long in tomorrow's game," said Rose, who also has concerns about Mahmoud Dahoud, Raphael Guerreiro, Nico Schulz, Marius Wolf and Emre Can. The latter will be suspended anyway following his red card in the game against Sporting.
One player who will definitely miss out is Julian Brandt, who was forced off with an injury in the Bayern match. "He's doing well, all in all. I've spoken to him on the phone and he came across positively," Rose explained. Several examinations will now take place "because we have to be careful when it comes to head injuries. Then we'll see if we can get him back by Saturday."