Klopp confident Borussia Dortmund can end Juventus home jinx

AFP , Tuesday 17 Mar 2015

Borussia Dortmund's coach Juergen Klopp gestures during the Bundesliga first division soccer match against FC Cologne in Dortmund March 14, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)

Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp is confident his side can reach the Champions League quarter-finals and in the process record their first ever home win over Italian opponents Juventus on Wednesday.

Dortmund, who beat Juventus to secure their sole Champions League trophy in 1997 in Munich, trail 2-1 after the first leg but Klopp is upbeat about them avoiding the fates of their predecessors on the three previous occasions they have hosted the Italian champions and lost.

Klopp's side have taken 14 points from a possible 18 in the league recently, but have been held to goalless draws in both of their last two games, latterly Saturday's home match with Cologne.

"One should not see this result too negatively," said Klopp.

"The only good thing from the Cologne result was that we saw what didn't work.

"We can do better, we have already shown that.

"The aim remains to reach the Champions League's quarter-finals and the boys can do it."

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri is waiting on his playmaker Andrea Pirlo, who is rated as doubtful with a calf injury, which forced him off in the first-half of the first leg clash.

Allegri is set to use a 3-5-2 formation with Patrice Evra, Paul Pogba, Claudio Marchisio, Arturo Vidal and Stephan Lichtsteiner in defence.

- Barzagli back for Juve -

Juventus received a boost on Saturday when defender Andrea Barzagli made his first start, in the win against Palermo, after a long injury lay-off.

Juventus are looking to reach the quarter-finals for only the second time since 2006, exiting at the last eight stage in the 2012/2013 campaign at the hands of Bayern Munich, who went on to beat Dortmund in the final.

But Juve have a strong record over two legs against German opposition and have won 12 of their 15 European matches with three defeats.

They will look to the experience of Argentinian striker Carlos Tevez to get them across the line.

The Argentinian scored three of Juventus' seven goals in the group stage.

Similarly Klopp will need his attacking duo of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Marco Reus, who scored Dortmund's goal in Turin, firing on all cylinders.

Aubameyang has scored five goals in his last seven matches, while Reus has shown superb form since recovering from two ankle injuries before Christmas.

Robert Lewandowski's departure for Bayern Munich last season left some big shoes to fill in the striking department at Dortmund.

While he has failed to make a mark in the Bundesliga, Italy striker Ciro Immobile has been a different player in the Champions League, scoring four times in five group stage matches.

Borussia defender Matthias Ginter is doubtful with a thigh injury, while defensive midfielder Nuri Sahin faces a race against time to shake off a groin problem.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link: