BV Borussia Dortmund go into their tie with Lille OSC having just lost for the first time in 16.
BV Borussia Dortmund go into the second leg of their UEFA Cup fourth-round tie against Lille OSC having just lost for the first time in 16 matches.
Their 4-0 away defeat away by Bayer 04 Leverkusen also cost them pole position in the 1. Bundesliga and they will be looking to make an instant return to winning ways tonight.
Coach Matthias Sammer is again without a host of leading names but at least he can call on German international Christian Wörns again after a bout of flu which forced him to miss the top-of-the-table fixture last weekend. Czech playmaker Tomáš Rosický will also come back from a Bundesliga ban which ruled him out of the Leverkusen game, but Lars Ricken is sidelined with back problems, Jan Koller is suspended and Sebastian Kehl is ineligible.
Sammer will be looking to capitalise on the 1-1 draw his team brought back from France, but warned: "It will be a difficult, difficult challenge. You can't start a game hoping for a draw against such an experienced side, so we must go for a win. Lille are waiting for mistakes and if we make any we won't reach the next round."
Wörns said: "I prefer the 1-1 to a 1-0 as the tension and concentration are kept high." But veteran defender Jürgen Kohler is determined to end his career with European silverware. "We have had to face such set-backs like the one in Leverkusen quite often and we always come back," said the 36-year-old.
'Upset and angry'
LOSC goalkeeper Grégory Wimbée says that the Dortmund defeat could work against the French visitors. "The fact that Dortmund lost 4-0 against Leverkusen in the Bundesliga is far from being good news for us," he said. "Dortmund will try to rebound from the defeat in front of their own fans. When a team like them is upset and angry, they become very dangerous."
Vahid Halilhodzic's team beat Olympique de Marseille 2-0 on Sunday to record their first home win of the year. They scored through Bruno Cheyrou's penalty and a late effort from Dagui Bakari. The coach said of tonight's game: "If we manage to pass this round, the pleasure and satisfaction for all of us will be bigger than anything we have experienced so far. We have it in our hands, and we have a real chance, I'm sure."
LOSC - who will be without key injured players Adekamni Olufade, Christoph Landrin and Fernando D'Amico - heard this week that Francis Graille will quit as club president at the end of the season. He will be replaced by board member Michel Seydoux.