"We want to show our best side – as we have done so frequently in this Champions League campaign," said Edin Terzic 28 hours prior to kick-off in the quarter-final first leg on Wednesday (21:00 CET, live on DAZN and on the BVB Net Radio). He did not particularly need to analyse the opponent, as the style of play of Diego Simeone's team is a frequent topic of conversation among the coaches.

"The way that Atlético have managed to achieve success over the past ten years" has been impressive, Borussia Dortmund's head coach admitted before adding: "They have implemented a new form and art of defending. I say that appreciatively. They have often been a topic of conversation in our meeting room even without us playing against them."

Not only can Atlético defend in a hard and physical manner, they are also the best attacking team in the quarter-finals after Manchester City. "It will be a hard job physically and mentally. They know how they have to play games to get results," said Terzic, who continued: "We can't make many mistakes and we can't allow Atlético to impose their game on us. Rather, we have to show the things that have set us apart in our last matches. In terms of intensity, we've taken a step forward."

It will be a meeting of two teams with certain parallels: both are battling to ensure they return to the Champions League in their domestic divisions. Atlético wrested back control of fourth position last weekend, while Borussia slipped down to fifth place. Both, however, are enjoying an outstanding Champions League campaign with only one defeat each in eight matches. Both are almost level in the UEFA Five-Year Ranking: BVB are 11th, Atlético are 13th. Both can count on an extraordinary atmosphere at their home games thanks to their fans. And yet there is a major difference: Atlético Madrid are the team with the best shooting efficiency of all eight quarter-final participants and have required only 5.9 shots on average to score a goal (BVB: 10.7).

"It's not easy for any team in the world at this stadium," said Terzic of the Estadio Metropolitano. Felix Nmecha promised his coach: "We're ready and know that we must fight and be there for each other. We hope that we show the side of ourselves that we have shown several times in this Champions League run tomorrow too." Terzic reacted to those words with a smile. "We've already had one or two really tough away matches, and we've done really well in Newcastle, Milan and even Munich. We want to turn a good performance into a good result for the return leg in Dortmund, where we'll then have an advantage."
Boris Rupert