Dortmund - Borussia Dortmund can book their place in the play-offs of the UEFA Europa League when they host Austrian side Wolfsberger AC in the second leg of their third-qualifying round fixture this Thursday (kick-off 18:30 GMT/ 20:30 CEST).
Thomas Tuchel’s side began their competitive season before all of their domestic rivals, and will also hope to show that an earlier return to action leaves them ideally placed to start the domestic campaign with a bang.
Leading 1-0 from the first leg last week, BVB need only avoid defeat to make sure their name is in the pot for the play-off draw on Friday. After four consecutive seasons of competing in the UEFA Champions League, reaching the play-offs – and ultimately the group stages – is an important part of Tuchel’s remit for his first season in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Team news: Dortmund
Injured/unavailable: Oliver Kirch
Doubtful: Neven Subotic, Erik Durm
Team news Wolfsberg
Injured/unavailable: Drescher (torn ligament), Hellquist (hamstring)
Doubtful: Weber (concussion)
Key player: Dortmund
Fresh after an extended summer break following his international exploits last term, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang already looks to be hitting form. The Gabonese international announced himself on the first leg with a scintillating dash into enemy territory, crowned with the assist for Jonas Hofmann’s winner. Playing at Signal Iduna Park again is sure to bring out the best in him.
Key player: Wolfsberg
The Austrians’ Tadej Trdina started last week’s first leg on the substitutes’ bench but, after a telling contribution, may find himself in the starting XI this time around. The Slovenian striker’s headed effort off the line was the closest Borussia came to conceding an equaliser last week, and Tuchel’s charges will need to be mindful of his presence in the box.
Dortmund: Kawasaki Frontale 6-0, Johor Southern Tigers 6-1, VfL Bochum 1-2, FC Luzern 4-1, Juventus 2-0, Wolfsberger AC 1-0, Real Betis Balompie 2-0
Wolfsberg: FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk 1-0, FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk 2-0, FK Austria Wien 0-2, Borussia Dortmund 0-1, SV Ried 0-0