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Duisburg hopeful of Potsdam revenge

Holders 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam may look handily placed in the home leg of their semi-final against FCR 2001 Duisburg with the score at 2-2, but the visiting coach is the more optimistic.

Jennifer Oster (centre) celebrates scoring Duisburg's second equaliser last week with Alexandra Popp (left) and Inka Grings
Jennifer Oster (centre) celebrates scoring Duisburg's second equaliser last week with Alexandra Popp (left) and Inka Grings ©FCR 2001 Duisburg

Last year 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam went into the home second leg of their UEFA Women's Champions League semi-final with then holders FCR 2001 Duisburg 1-0 down and ended up winning on penalties. On Sunday they are rematched following a 2-2 draw but oddly Duisburg coach Marco Ketelaer seems more optimistic than Potsdam counterpart Bernd Schröder.

Reigning European and German champions Potsdam led twice in the first leg against their league rivals Duisburg last weekend but although they were pegged back, the scoreline is usually considered a good one to defend at home in Europe. But the 68-year-old Schröder, aiming to become the first coach to win three UEFA women's club trophies, billed the result as "very, very dangerous" while Ketelaer believes the scoreline will focus his team's minds.

However, winning away at the Karl-Liebknecht-Stadion, or scoring enough for a draw to be enough, would buck this season's trends. Potsdam have won all 15 of their competitive home matches this season, conceding a grand total of five goals. Indeed, Duisburg fell 1-0 in the league to a late Anja Mittag goal at the 'Karli' in February.

With a crowd of between 5,000 and 7,000 fans expected for one of the season's highlights, Duisburg will arrive not frightened but motivated, insists Ketelaer. "Such a crowd has to be taken as motivation, to give ourselves another boost," he said. "The slogan has to be, 'We will give the answer on the pitch!' That is the view the team has to take."

Duisburg, who must lift this trophy to return to Europe next season after finishing third in Germany, last won at Potsdam in May 2008, 1-0 thanks to a last-minute goal from this season's UEFA Women's Champions League top scorer, Inka Grings. But Ketelaer, who will have German midfielder Simone Laudehr back from suspension, warned: "Aiming for a 1-0 is way too dangerous, I believe that we will score three goals."

While Laudehr is back, Potsdam have a key defender banned. "Losing Bianca Schmidt after her second yellow card [of the season] has me worried," Schröder said. "We must not allow Duisburg close to our goal; they are incredibly dangerous in attack."

Schmidt's absence means another likely start for 19-year old Tabea Kemme, who came on as a substitute in this game last season to head the goal that took the tie to penalties, and ultimately Potsdam to final glory. If they make it through they will be rematched with the team they beat in Getafe 12 months ago, Olympique Lyonnais, on 26 May at Craven Cottage in London.