UEFA Europa League quarter-finalists as recently as 2015/16, Borussia Dortmund are bolstered by the return of Marco Reus as they look to go a few better this term, starting with Atalanta at home in the Round of 32 on Thursday evening (kick-off 19:00 CET/18:00 GMT).

Latest

Reus made his first start in 259 days in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Hamburg, while in-form striker Michy Batshuayi scored his third goal in just two games since his winter switch from Chelsea. Both are expected to play against the Italians as BVB look to open up a first-leg advantage. English teenage sensation Jadon Sancho remains a long-term absentee, with Portugal left-back-cum-midfielder Raphael Guerreiro joining him on the sidelines due to a muscle strain. There is good news for coach Peter Stöger, though, with club captain Marcel Schmelzer in contention after recovering from a calf injury.

Currently eighth in Serie A, Atalanta are enjoying a three-game unbeaten run in Italy’s top flight, but head coach Gian Piero Gasperini may have to do without captain Papu Gomez and centre-back Mattia Caldara on Thursday. The duo have missed the Bergamo outfit’s last two league encounters due to back injuries and are unlikely to recover in time for the trip to the Signal Iduna Park. Midfielder Luca Rizzo is also unavailable after damaging knee ligaments in training last month.

Watch: The Marco Reus Story

Probable line-ups

Dortmund: Bürki – Piszczek, Toprak, Sokratis (c), Toljan – Weigl, Götze – Pulisic, Reus, Schürrle – Batschuayi
Absentees: Durm (ankle), Yarmolenko (tendon), Sancho (ankle), Guerreiro (muscular), Rode (pelvis), Philipp (knee)
Coach: Peter Stöger

Atalanta: Berisha – Toloi, Masiello (c), Palomino – Hateboer, Cristante, de Roon, Spinazzola – Ilicic – Cornelius, Petagna
Absentees: Rizzo (knee)
Coach: Gian Piero Gasperini

Match stats

  • Reus’ last game before the Hamburg win on Saturday was Dortmund’s DFB Cup final win over Eintracht Frankfurt in May 2017.
  • Batshuayi has scored three times for BVB since joining the club as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s replacement at the end of January.
  • Since Stöger replaced Peter Bosz as coach, Die Schwarzgelben have only lost once in 10 games in all competitions.
  • Dortmund reached the quarter-finals in 2015/16, losing 5-4 on aggregate to Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
  • This is the first competitive meeting between the sides, though Atalanta edged Dortmund 1-0 in a pre-season friendly in August.
  • Dortmund have faced Italian opposition 31 times, winning 12 and drawing four.

Live updates


Source link