Swotting up on the Russian league leaders hasn't been easy, with last year's finalists having to rely almost exclusively on video footage of a Zenit side that have spent the last ten weeks of the winter in hibernation.
'It won't be easy'
"They're really awkward opponents," warned club captain . "They've got great individuals. It'd be great to come away with a similar result [to last season's last-16 first leg 2-2 draw against Shakhtar Donetsk], but Zenit are a much tougher proposition than most German fans and journalists think. It won't be easy."
BVB, of course, are no stranger to doing things the hard way, Jürgen Klopp's men having finished above Arsenal FC on goal difference to get this far, while Tuesday's hosts sneaked into the knockout stage behind Club Atletico de Madrid, despite winning only once in six Group G outings before the turn of the year.
"We want to put in a good performance and come away with an away goal no matter what," affirmed Dortmund leading scorer ahead of what would be his 50th and the club's 199th appearance in European club competition.
The Polish striker was unable to prevent last season's finalists being torn asunder by Hamburger SV in the league at the weekend, but is expected to play some part at the Petrovsky Stadium after recovering from a bout of the flu. "He's feeling better," Klopp confirmed.
'Far from happy'
The BVB tactician could also have Mats Hummels at his disposal following the influential centre-back's stop-start battle with various ankle afflictions. "He'll train and then we'll decide what we're going to do," continued Klopp.
For Kehl, meanwhile, Tuesday's trip into the unknown is all about bouncing back and making the most of the occasion: "We're far from happy with our performance at the weekend, we wanted more against HSV. We threw the points away, but we have to forget about it. It's the Champions League and we want to enjoy it."
Zenit: Lodygin - Ansaldi, Lombaerts, Hubocan, Criscito - Fayzulin, Witsel - Hulk, Shatov, Arshavin - Rondon
Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, M. Friedrich, Sokratis, Schmelzer - Kehl, Sahin - Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan, Reus - Lewandowski