DORTMUND, Germany (AP) — It would be an “unbelievable story” to beat Manchester City and reach the Champions League semifinals despite injuries and other setbacks, Borussia Dortmund coach Edin Terzic said Tuesday.
Dortmund forward Marco Reus and defender Mats Hummels remain injury doubts ahead of the second leg of the quarterfinals at home against City on Wednesday. Both were substituted early after taking knocks in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Stuttgart.
The two players are valuable not only for their contributions on the field — Reus scored Dortmund’s goal against City in the 2-1 loss in the first leg last week — but also as experienced team leaders in a squad which otherwise leans heavily on up-and-coming players. Both were on the Dortmund team that reached the Champions League final in 2013.
“They have both amassed so much experience in the Champions League, above all with Dortmund, and it would obviously be a huge help if they’re on the field with us again tomorrow,” Dortmund defender Manuel Akanji said.
Terzic said Jadon Sancho will not play against City. The England forward has not played since March 2 because of a muscle injury, though he has recently resumed light training. Center back Dan-Axel Zagadou is also out for the rest of the season after a recent knee operation.
Terzic is only in charge of Dortmund on an interim basis after Lucien Favre was fired in December. He is due to be replaced by Marco Rose for next season.
Dortmund is in fifth place in the Bundesliga and would miss out on Champions League qualification for next season unless it can win this season’s competition.
Those hardships would make a win over City even more satisfying, Terzic said.
“What that would mean for me personally, obviously it would be an unbelievable story when you see how the whole season has gone,” Terzic said. “As a team we want to show that we can compete against the best teams in this competition and that we can maybe eliminate the best team in this competition.”
Terzic surprised City in the first leg when he gave 19-year-old winger Ansgar Knauff his first senior start in any competition. Knauff put himself in contention to stay in the team when he scored the winning goal against Stuttgart on Saturday as a substitute for the injured Reus.
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