Borussia Dortmund’s injury crisis has deepened with attackers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ousmane Dembele and Christian Pulisic the latest stars ruled out.
Dortmund host second-division Union Berlin on Wednesday in the second-round of the German Cup, but are set to be without Dembele and Pulisic, who are ill, while hot-shot striker Aubameyang has a calf injury.
“It’s very questionable whether they can participate,” said coach Thomas Tuchel after the trio failed to train on Tuesday.
The three have added to Dortmund’s woes with Andre Schuerrle, Raphael Guerrerio, Marcel Schmelzer, Sven Bender, Erik Durm, Neven Subotic and Marco Reus all either out injured or returning from injury.
“We are working from day to day and there are always players who might need a break, but that is not an option at the moment, said Tuchel.
Tuchel says his drastic personnel problems have lowered his expectations with Borussia to host Union, then Schalke in the Ruhr derby on Saturday night before playing Sporting Lisbon next Tuesday in the Champions League.
“The standards we set ourselves have fallen. We lack the playfulness, the quality and a lot of experience,” admitted Tuchel.
Draws with Hertha Berlin and Ingolstadt, plus defeat against Bayer Leverkusen, mean Dortmund are winless in their last three league games.
Union will not give Dortmund, who lost this year’s cup final to Bayern Munich on penalties, an easy ride and the Berlin-based team are second in Germany’s second tier.
“We back ourselves to win the game, that’s our basic requirement,” added Tuchel. – Agence France-Presse