Coach Mircea Lucescu says whoever comes out on top between Borussia Dortmund and his FC Shakhtar Donetsk team can look forward to a trip to London in May, but the two camps concede there is little to choose between them.
The German side have a slender advantage after Mats Hummels, a doubt here with illness, earned a last-gasp 2-2 draw in Ukraine three weeks ago. Lucescu pointed out that both Dortmund's goals were down to defensive mistakes, pressing the importance of not handing out "any more presents" in Tuesday's second leg. Counterpart Jürgen Klopp picked up a similar theme though he admits errors will happen: the key is "performing so well that your mistakes don't matter."
Jürgen Klopp, coach
I have read it would be a lost season if we don't go though. I think that's very harsh. We have a big opportunity to finish second in the Bundesliga: we wouldn't have dreamt of that three years ago. It is a very, very important match for us because this side have the opportunity of reaching something new, the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
It will be difficult for either team. In the first leg we saw that both sides are here on merit and they have high quality. The first leg decided nothing. Our position is maybe a bit better, but no more than that. I'm not worried about us making mistakes.
There is no such thing as a football match without mistakes. It's about performing so well that your mistakes don't matter in the larger scheme of things.
Maybe Mircea Lucescu can surprise me, but it is really rare for one coach to truly spring a surprise on the other. It's about how well the lads on the pitch perform – that's what's decisive. Lucescu saw us in Munich [last Wednesday's 1-0 German Cup defeat by FC Bayern München], where we were clever enough not to show him everything we are capable of. Maybe we can surprise him by showing more than we did there. We should do.
Saturday: Dortmund 3-1 Hannover 96 (Lewandowski 8 21, Schieber 72; Abdellaoue 40)
Weidenfeller; Błaszczykowski (Bender 76), Subotić, Felipe Santana, Schmelzer; Gündoğan (Şahin 81), Kehl; Schieber, Reus (Götze 64), Grosskreutz; Lewandowski.
• Lewandowski had been set to complete a three-match Bundesliga ban, but the suspension was reduced to two games on Friday. The striker took full advantage, scoring twice to take his tally to nine in his past nine outings for BVB. Mohammed Abdellaoue halved the deficit on the rebound after Felipe Santana had inadvertently tested his own keeper Roman Weidenfeller, but Julian Schieber's first league goal for Dortmund sealed the points.
Hummels has missed Dortmund's last two fixtures with flu but Klopp says "there is a little hope" he will play. The centre-back did light training on Monday and was allowed to recuperate at home rather than the team hotel. He will undergo a late fitness test.
Mircea Lucescu, coach
I have followed Dortmund's recent games closely and of course I attended their match at Bayern. In the first half they played for counterattacks, but in the second they were active and played a more attacking game. I think we are well prepared although Dortmund are a very strong side. They advanced from a group containing Ajax, Real Madrid and Manchester City and created six or seven clear chances against all of them at home.
Despite being well-oiled in the Bundesliga, they profited only from our mistakes in the first leg. For [Robert] Lewandowski's goal, two of our players got in each other's way and it was similar for their second goal. Dortmund might be in better shape, physically. They are playing at a very high level, be it with vertical or horizontal passes, low or high balls. My team will aim to make fewer mistakes and avoid handing them any presents.
Dortmund will make life difficult for us and go on the attack from the off, backed by those fans. We will come under pressure at the back.
The team which goes through tomorrow will surely reach the Champions League final. Klopp is a great coach, world class. He has led this team to two league championships in a row and knows how to develop young players. It was great how relaxed he was with my players when he visited our training before the first leg.
Friday: Shakhtar 4-1 FC Volyn Lutsk (Shandruk og 10, Kucher 14, Douglas Costa 54, Eduardo 90+2; Bicfalvi 51)
Pyatov; Srna, Kucher, Rakitskiy, Raţ (Sobol 65); Gai (Eduardo 65), Hübschman; Douglas Costa (Alan Patrick 71), Mkhitaryan, Alex Teixeira; Luiz Adriano.
• It was business as usual as Shakhtar's 91-day domestic winter break ended, Lucescu's side making it 18 wins in 19 top-flight games this term. Olexandr Kucher's diving header was his third Premier League goal of the season, more than he managed in six previous campaigns at the club combined. Eduardo, meanwhile, scored at the Donbass Arena for the first time since 2 December 2011, converting a cross from 17-year-old debutant Eduard Sobol.
Dmytro Chygrynskiy has not travelled to Germany after an ongoing ankle injury flared up.
• The German team have drawn seven away first legs in UEFA competition and gone through on aggregate on six occasions. The sole defeat came the only time they recorded a 2-2 away draw in the first leg, against Juventus in the 1994/95 UEFA Cup semi-finals; Dortmund were beaten 2-1 in the home return.
©UEFA.com 1998-2011. All rights reserved.