Dortmund hit with injury woes for Monaco clash

Dortmund (Germany) (AFP) – Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel has personnel problems to resolve as they prepare to host free-scoring Monaco in Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg.

“It’s complicated. There are a lot of things we have to deal with,” said Tuchel ahead of the clash at Dortmund’s imposing Signal Iduna Park.

The Dortmund boss has a mounting injury list and is rushing to get the likes of Japan midfielder Shinji Kagawa, winger Andre Schuerrle, midfielder Julian Weigl and defender Lukasz Piszczek fit.

The quartet all sat out Dortmund’s 4-1 thumping at Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

“There will be players coming back, we don’t know in what condition they will be in, but we need them with strength, form and energy,” added Tuchel.

At least chief playmaker Marco Reus returned to training on Sunday after a month sidelined by a hamstring injury and could be an option.

Even an appearance off the bench would boost the hosts’ chances in what is likely to be a high-tempo clash between two teams who like to attack.

“Marco trained yesterday and I’m a fan of taking him along and possibly using him. We’ll decide just before kick-off,” Tuchel told reporters on Monday.

Monaco fully deserve their last-eight berth having seen off Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City with a stunning 3-1 second-leg win at home to progress on away goals after losing 5-3 in England.

The French league leaders — who score on average nearly three goals a game in Ligue 1 — have problems of their own with right-back Djibril Sidibe set to miss out after being hospitalised with appendicitis over the weekend.

Highly rated defensive midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko is suspended, meaning Joao Moutinho should start in central midfield.

– Aubameyang revenge mission –

Despite their injury woes Dortmund are confident of beating Monaco over two legs to reach the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in four years, when they lost the 2013 final to Bayern Munich in London.

“We will try to play to our strengths and in all discussions it will be about being as brave as possible,” added Tuchel.

“It’s what makes us strong and we will try to score as many goals as possible.

“If we have the ball, we will attack. It is an advantage that we are at home for the first game because we can go on the offensive.”

Dortmund have lost just one of their last 12 home games in Europe and can expect passionate support at Signal Iduna Park.

“The atmosphere here is the stadium is fantastic. The fans will put a lot of pressure on Monaco, which won’t be the case for us in the return leg,” said Dortmund midfielder Raphael Guerreiro.

Dortmund top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has hit seven Champions League goals this season in a haul of 32 in all competitions, will be looking to remind Monaco what they missed out on.

The French side allowed the Gabon striker to slip through their grasp during a loan spell in 2010/11.

Monaco are enjoying a stellar season and their free-flowing attack has so far netted more than 130 goals in all competitions.

The only blip was their 4-1 mauling by Paris Saint-Germain in the French League Cup final at the start of April.

Monaco squeezed past Angers on Saturday with a 1-0 win as Radamel Falcao scored his 25th goal of the season.

He is set to partner rising star Kylian Mbappe, 18, up front.

Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim is concerned about the short turnaround in a busy — and pivotal — month for his exciting, young side.

“Against Dortmund the problem will not be possession, it will be having only two days to recover before we play in an international competition,” he said.

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