Despite the injury plight, borussia dortmund is not complaining and is fighting fit ahead of the bundesliga summit meeting with bayern munchen.
Although the defensive emergency has taken on threatening proportions with the additional absences of mats hummels and marcel schmelzer, coach jurgen klopp appeared to have recovered somewhat from the initial shock two days before saturday’s showdown at signal iduna park against the league leaders.
"The situation is not great, especially when you are in such a phase with eight games until christmas. But we’ve already had a little time to get used to the idea," said the BVB coach in dortmund. In view of the high-caliber opponents, klopp concludes: "we will have to play an extraordinary game in order to pose any problems for the opponent. You also have to expect that the opponent will be a bit active himself."
Klopp appealed to all black-and-yellow players: "the most important thing is that we put everything on the line and make a special moment out of it."Despite the precarious situation, we are not without a chance against the bavarians: "everything is possible – and we should deal with this possibility responsibly."
Michael zorc had already made similar remarks, according to the motto: now more than ever! "We never hoist the weibe flag in front of anyone. We have repeatedly shown that we can beat bavaria," the BVB sports director explained in an interview with kicker. However, zorc also conceded that "the framework conditions had deteriorated significantly in a relatively short time". Because the hit against bayern is followed by the no less important champions league match against SSC naples on tuesday.
With neven subotic out (cruciate ligament surgery), hummels out (torn bony ligament in heel bone) and schmelzer out (torn calf muscle fiber), klopp will have to improvise defensively, especially since lukasz piszczek (after hoof surgery) is still too early to play.
The entire back line of BVB’s successful team is now out, which manager hans-joachim watzke called a "disaster" in an interview with the "ruhr nachrichten": "the worst thing that can happen to you in soccer is that your entire back four breaks down. Replacing a defender, a midfielder and a striker at the same time is something any team can do. But completely replace a well-rehearsed back four?"
In the emergency, the last club-less ex-national player manuel friedrich was signed until the end of the season. The 34-year-old, who played his last mandatory game on 18. May this year with leverkusen in hamburg, could form against the bayern together with sokratis the central defense. "Endurance-wise he is in aubergewohnlich good condition," said klopp. But other variants with sven bender or sebastian kehl in the back four were also conceivable. And erik durm is ready to replace schmelzer on the left, as he has done so often before. "There are complex considerations, but none that i’ve been told now," klopp said.
Even in the event of a defeat and the gap to munich having grown to seven points, the club is not giving up on the title fight, zorc stressed: "the season is still very long, only 13 of 34 match days will have been completed after that. Of course, our goal is still to close the gap to one point."