Borussia Dortmund facing injury crisis ahead of Tottenham clash
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 12/09/17 9:13pm
Borussia Dortmund are set to be without nine injured players for Wednesday's Champions League clash against Tottenham.
Dortmund and Spurs go head to head in what could prove a pivotal clash in the race for qualification, with Real Madrid and Cypriot side APOEL expected to top and tail Group H.
But a raft of fitness problems have derailed Dortmund's preparations as Neven Subotic became the latest concern on Tuesday after the defender fell ill and was unable to arrive for training.
Meanwhile, captain Marcel Schmelzer was stretchered off against Freiburg on Saturday with ruptured ankle ligaments, not long after Marc Bartra had departed with a groin problem. Neither have travelled to London.
Also likely to miss out are Julian Weigl (ankle), Andre Schurrle (thigh), Sebastian Rode (knock) and Erik Durm (hip), while Raphael Guerreiro and Marco Reus are recovering from foot and knee operations respectively.
Subotic could yet join up with the squad on Wednesday but the 28-year-old would appear unlikely to start.
"Our long-term injuries are well-known and we have some short-term ones as well," Dortmund manager Peter Bosz said.
"Subotic is sick. Maybe he will come tomorrow but he is not with the group today."
Bosz took charge at Dortmund this summer after leading Ajax to last season's Europa League final, when they were beaten by Manchester United.
It means the former Holland midfielder is well-acquainted with Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez, who joined from Ajax in August for a club-record £42m.
The 21-year-old started in Spurs' win over Everton on Saturday and is expected to retain his place at Wembley.
"He is a good player even though he is still young," Bosz said. "What surprised me was that he played the final of the Copa Libertadores, which he won, and without any vacation he came to us and after one week he played the whole season, never injured and always working hard in training.
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"I think he became a better player, especially with the ball. Without the ball he is a monster - strong in the air, fast - but with the ball at Ajax, we had a certain way of playing and he adapted."
Bosz has made a solid start at his new club, with Dortmund sitting top of the Bundesliga after three matches, but he expressed sympathy for his fellow former Ajax coach Frank de Boer.
De Boer was sacked by Crystal Palace after just four league matches on Monday.
"It's unbelievable after four games," Bosz said. "If you want to change something, and that's what they told him and what he tried to do, after four games that's bizarre."