Dortmund’s improving defence boost chances against Juve

first_imgBy Karolos GrohmannBORUSSIA Dortmund’s must score at least once to overturn a 2-1 Champions League last 16 first leg deficit against Juventus on Wednesday (9.45pm) but are confident their watertight defence can hold firm and keep the Italians at bay.The improving Germans, who have recovered after a dismal first half to the domestic season that saw them anchored in last place as recently as last month in the Bundesliga, have kept a clean sheet in their last three league games, including a 0-0 draw against Cologne on the weekend.With Neven Subotic and Mats Hummels back fit in central defence, along with fullbacks Marcel Schmelzer and Lukasz Piszczek, Dortmund’s defence has been as solid as it has been all season.“Against Cologne we played another game without letting in a goal and that is something we can build on,” coach Juergen Klopp told reporters. “We want to advance to the quarter-finals and we can do this.”Dortmund boast a fine record at home in Europe having won 11 of their last 14 Champions League games at the Westfalenstadion.But in order to book a spot in the last eight they have to snap a losing run at home against Juventus, having lost all three previous encounters against the Italians in Dortmund.Klopp will be counting on goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has scored five in his last seven outings and in-form Marco Reus, who has struck five times in eight games.Juventus are flying high in Serie A, edging closer to the Italian title with their first triumph away from home in over two months at Palermo, opening up a 14-point lead.“One less win needed to win the league,” Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri said, knowing he will now need to shift his focus to Dortmund and their attacking game.“We will need to take the lead there, maybe score more than one goal,” said the coach.They will, however, be without influential playmaker Andrea Pirlo who has yet to fully recover from a thigh injury suffered in the first leg.“He has made good progress but not enough to be in Dortmund,” the club said in a statement.last_img

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