Favre looking to stay positive
Lucien Favre is looking to the future. BVB’s head coach is back and has already put the frustrating games against Bremen and Hoffenheim to the back of his mind. Five regulars in Reus, Alcácer, Piszczek, Akanji and Weigl are all missing but the Swiss coach was not keen to discuss the injury worries ahead of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg game at Wembley against Tottenham Hotspur.
Boris Rupert reports from London
“These games are over. We have to cling to the positives. That’s part of the game. We have a young team,” Favre said about the DFB Cup penalty shootout loss last Tuesday against Werder Bremen and squandering a Bundesliga home win against Hoffenheim on Saturday. Discussing the injuries: “It doesn’t help to talk about missing players.” In this case, Favre meant both teams because Spurs will probably be without left-back Ben Davies as well as their top strikers Harry Kane and Deli Alli.
The young Argentinian Leonardo Balerdi has flown to London as a defensive option. Even more importantly, Dan-Axel Zagadou is “almost fit” according to Favre, before adding: ” He has only played 40 minutes so far for the youth team on Saturday.”
“Of late, they have been like a kind of result machine, churning out excellent results in the league and are chasing Liverpool and Manchester City at the top of the table,” said BVB sporting director Michael Zorc about the Premier League third-place side. Thomas Delaney and his teammates “of course have a lot of respect for Tottenham.” The Denmark international added: ” We are aware of their strengths. Every footballer knows how good Tottenham are.”
If the team takes on board Zorc’s advice to (“defend with more concentration and physicality”) then we could see the “open game” expected by CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke. “We travel there as Bundesliga league leaders, we aren’t afraid and have a good chance to progress to the next round.”