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Borussia Dortmund train without Gotze ahead of Benfica tie

by 13/02/2017 18:03:00 0 comments 1 Views
  • Borussia Dortmund train at the Estadio da Luz ahead of Champions League tie
  • The German club face Benfica in the round of 16 first leg tie on Tuesday evening
  • They train without Mario Gotze after he failed to recover from an adductor issue
  • Thomas Tuchel says his team remain confident despite 2-1 defeat to Darmstadt

By Alex Martin For Mailonline

Published: 18:03 EST, 13 February 2017 | Updated: 18:03 EST, 13 February 2017

Borussia Dortmund stepped onto the Estadio da Luz surface for the first time on Monday night as they put in a final training session ahead of their Champions League tie against Benfica.

The Bundesliga team will be looking to kick-start their campaign with a victory in their round of 16 first leg after suffering a shock defeat to the league's bottom side Darmstadt last weekend.

Thomas Tuchel's men have won less than half of their games this season (nine out of 20) and are in a battle just to qualify for next season's Champions League, let alone challenge for the title.

Borussia Dortmund train on the Estadio da Luz pitch ahead of their Champions League match Borussia Dortmund train on the Estadio da Luz pitch ahead of their Champions League match

Borussia Dortmund train on the Estadio da Luz pitch ahead of their Champions League match

Dortmund will be looking to make the last eight but must first find a way past Benfica first Dortmund will be looking to make the last eight but must first find a way past Benfica first

Dortmund will be looking to make the last eight but must first find a way past Benfica first

Borussia Dortmund stars including Shinji Kagawa go through a routine drills on the pitch Borussia Dortmund stars including Shinji Kagawa go through a routine drills on the pitch

Borussia Dortmund stars including Shinji Kagawa go through a routine drills on the pitch

Head coach Thomas Tuchel gets involved in the action as his players warm up Head coach Thomas Tuchel gets involved in the action as his players warm up

Head coach Thomas Tuchel gets involved in the action as his players warm up

With big questions over his side going into the game, the head coach rejected any suggestion of a crisis within his ranks and says the players are feeling confident going into the season-defining fixture. 

Tuchel said: 'It is often the quietest in the middle of the storm. 

'We are full of anticipation and hopeful that we can perform to our best. We have to keep our shape and be confident, knowing that there will always be phases of the game where we dominate.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is back in the squad following the AFCON Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is back in the squad following the AFCON
Marco Reus is set to start for Borussia Dortmund Marco Reus is set to start for Borussia Dortmund

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Marco Reus were both looking fit during the session

Dortmund's Andre Schurrle jokes with team-mate Marc Bartra during a training session Dortmund's Andre Schurrle jokes with team-mate Marc Bartra during a training session

Dortmund's Andre Schurrle jokes with team-mate Marc Bartra during a training session

Borussia Dortmund players continue stretches as they prepare for Tuesday's game  Borussia Dortmund players continue stretches as they prepare for Tuesday's game 

Borussia Dortmund players continue stretches as they prepare for Tuesday's game 

'It is a big task playing a knockout game against a great and proud club like Benfica. They are very fluent going forward but keep it compact at the back.

'There are no favourites in a Champions League knockout [game].'

Mario Gotze was a notable absentee as Marco Reus and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang went through some routine drills on Monday evening with the German playmaker not travelling after failing to recover from injury.

'He most recently had adductor problems,' Tuchel said of Gotze. 'He had one training session but unfortunately it is not enough for him to help us in this game.'

Schurrle and Aubameyang both go through some routine stretches as training continues Schurrle and Aubameyang both go through some routine stretches as training continues

Schurrle and Aubameyang both go through some routine stretches as training continues

Tuchel rejected talk of a crisis at Borussia Dortmund after their latest domestic defeat Tuchel rejected talk of a crisis at Borussia Dortmund after their latest domestic defeat

Tuchel rejected talk of a crisis at Borussia Dortmund after their latest domestic defeat

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