Champions League round of 16: BVB travels to Eindhoven with “huge respect”.

As of: February 19, 2024 7:41 p.m

In the Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund is lagging behind its own expectations. Things are going differently in the Champions League. However, PSV Eindhoven’s round of 16 draw is only an easy task at first glance.

It is not known whether Niclas Füllkrug likes to play tennis. The striker is on tennis balls Borussia Dortmund but not easy to speak at the moment. Füllkrug, among other things, blamed the yellow felt balls for BVB’s sedate performance in the 1-1 draw at VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday: “It’s extremely difficult to achieve top performances like that, or to develop dynamism or dominance when the game is felt is interrupted every ten minutes,” Füllkrug told WDR after the game.

  • Round of 16 of the Champions League
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  • Tuesday, 9 p.m.: PSV Eindhoven – Borussia Dortmund
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The game in Wolfsburg was interrupted several times because tennis balls and other objects flew from the respective fan blocks onto the field in protest against the German Football League’s investor plans. “You have to be honest, that was also a disadvantage for us,” said Füllkrug.

Sportschau Bundesliga Live, March 2nd, 2024 3:20 p.m

Kehl calls performance “at times arrogant”

After the good results of the past few weeks (14 points from five games), the 1-1 draw with a struggling and shaky VfL Wolfsburg was clearly not enough for the demands of BVB, which is far from the championship it was aiming for and, as fourth in the table, now only has one Point ahead of pursuer RB Leipzig. Meanwhile, sports director Sebastian Kehl didn’t just blame the tennis balls for Dortmund’s weak performance and called the performance “at times arrogant”. BVB hardly received any impetus from the wings in particular. Donyell Malen, who had to sit out with a knee problem, was sorely missed.

It is quite possible, however, that Malen will be back in the Dortmund squad on Tuesday. Then BVB will play PSV Eindhoven in the first leg of the round of 16 of the Champions League (9 p.m.). “We are optimistic,” Terzic said in the press conference on Monday. It would be a special game for painting. The Dutchman finally moved from Eindhoven to Dortmund in 2021.

BVB exceeded expectations in the Champions League

In contrast to the Bundesliga, BVB has so far performed above expectations in the Champions League. BVB even finished top of the “Group of Death F” with Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Newcastle United with just one defeat. Goalkeeper Gregor Kobel is therefore sure that BVB will show a different face in the Netherlands than they did last in Wolfsburg: “Tomorrow is the Champions League. That is always special, we are looking forward to this challenge and are very motivated,” he said on Monday.

  • This is Dortmund’s opponent – PSV Eindhoven
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With PSV Eindhoven, BVB has apparently only been drawn an easy opponent for the round of 16. “We have huge respect for our opponents. PSV are doing exceptionally well this season,” said Terzic. A look at the Dutch Eredivisie makes this clear: Eindhoven, coached by ex-BVB coach Peter Bosz, is the undefeated league leader with a ten point lead over Feyenoord Rotterdam and a goal difference of 70:10 after 22 games.

Ex-Gladbacher is Eindhoven’s top goalscorer

“They’re very dangerous and don’t concede many goals. To have all that, you need not only good ideas, but also good players,” said Terzic. Dortmund have to pay particular attention to a former Bundesliga player: with 19 goals this season, ex-Gladbach player Luuk De Jong is PSV’s top goalscorer. “De Jong is your target player in the center. The wingers are very good at dribbling, they play with their right foot over their left and vice versa,” said Terzic, describing the opponent’s offensive strengths.

The 41-year-old has identified weaknesses in the Dutch defense – even though PSV have only conceded ten goals in the league. In the Champions League there were just as many in six games. “We have to use that,” said Terzic.

Scoring goals is of course Niclas Füllkrug’s main task. The striker is currently doing well in the Bundesliga and has scored six times in the last five games. In the Champions League, however, Füllkrug only gets a goal. In Eindhoven he now has the chance to improve on this record. At least this time tennis balls shouldn’t get in the way of him and BVB.