Wolfsberg - Thomas Tuchel takes charge of his first competitive encounter as Borussia Dortmund get their 2015/16 campaign underway against Austrian Bundesliga outfit Wolfsberger AC in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round on Thursday (kick-off 20:05 BST/ 21:05 CEST).
Following some impressive pre-season performances, bundesliga.com looks ahead to Tuchel’s debut as BVB head coach…
It’s the first real test of the Tuchel era, but the Black and Yellows are overriding favourites to progress to the play-off round. A clean sheet and a couple of away goals is, as ever, the ideal scenario ahead of next week’s second leg at the Signal Iduna Park.
- The game represents Dortmund’s first outing in the Europa League since 2010-11 following four successive seasons of Champions League football
- Thomas Tuchel was in charge of Mainz when the 05ers lost 4-3 on penalties to Romanian club CS Gaz Metan Medias in the 2011/12 third qualifying round
- BVB have met Austrian opposition once before at this level, beating FK Austria Wien 3-1 on aggregate in the first round of the now defunct UEFA Cup (2003/04)
Team news: Wolfsberg
Injured/unavailable: Drescher (torn ligament, l.)
Doubtful: Manuel Weber (concussion)
Team news: Dortmund
Injured/unavailable: Sahin (tendonitis), Großkreutz (knee, r.), Ducksch (metatarsal)
Doubtful: Subotic (back), Durm (knee)
Wolfsberger: FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk 1-0, FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk 2-0
Dortmund: VfL Rhede 5-0, Olympic Gold Medal winners’ XI 17-0, Kawasaki Frontale 6-0, Johor Southern Tigers 6-1, VfL Bochum 1-2, FC Luzern 4-1, Juventus 2-0
Key player: Wolfsberg
Captain Michael Sollbauer is unlikely to have faced such high-calibre opposition as BVB, but the Austrian centre-back's assured display in WAC’s 3-0 aggregate win against Belarusian side FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk in the previous round is enough to suggest he won't be out of place in the company of Reus and Co. He even added his name to the scoresheet in the second leg at Wolfsberg's Lavanttal-Arena.
Key player: Dortmund
Dortmund fans will be hoping Marco Reus’ stunning solo goal in last weekend’s 2-0 friendly win over Italian champions Juventus is a taste of things to come in the new campaign. Injury-free, the 26-year-old attacker appears to be back to his free-flowing best and can be guaranteed to give the Wolfsberg defence a real headache over the two legs.