Strike could disrupt Dortmund plans

BY foxsports • October 19, 2011

Borussia Dortmund may face a bigger challenge getting home after today's Champions League tie with Olympiacos in Greece than the game itself.

Public service strikes are due to ground all flights in and out of the country until nearly midnight on Thursday, meaning the defending German champions are facing the prospect of being stuck in Greece until the eve of their Bundesliga fixture with Cologne on Saturday.

"It is frustrating, but at the same time we cannot change it," said Dortmund's director of sport Michael Zorc to the dapd news agency.

"Of course it is not great as it will negatively influence our preparations for the Bundesliga game against Cologne, but all UEFA said was 'make sure you get there early and you are bound to get home again'."

The club is therefore considering alternative plans which include training in Greece until Friday or flying back immediately after the strike has ended, but that would mean they need to land in the early hours of Friday morning in Paderborn since Dortmund's airport is closed overnight.

However, they will cross that bridge when they come to it since the priority right now is getting three crucial Champions League points.

After drawing with Arsenal and losing to Marseille, the Westphalians need to hold the upper hand in their double-header with Olympiacos, who have lost both of their opening Group F fixtures, to keep them in the hunt for at least third place in the group.

"We must win in Piraeus if we are to maintain our chances," said defender Mats Hummels on his club's website.

"We know that we have a really good team, if we play to our full potential."

Dortmund's 3-0 defeat in France in their last group game seems to have been the wake-up call the defending Bundesliga champions needed.

They have won their last two league matches to move up to third in the table.

"We have a lot of self-confidence in the team now," admitted Hummels' partner in the centre of the defence Neven Subotic.

"We have demonstrated that we are in great condition."

However, Dortmund have been forced to leave behind their top goalscorer from last season Lucas Barrios due to a back injury while Patrick Owomoyela, who marked his comeback with a goal against Bremen last Friday night, is ruled out for a fortnight with a groin injury.

The hosts' coach Ernesto Valverde is hopeful that the public transport strikes will not prevent his side's fans from flocking to the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium on Wednesday night.

"We know that in the game against Dortmund, our fans will pack the stadium," he told his club's website.

"They will be on our side, but it is going to be a tough game.

"However, we will try to win because we want to keep competing in the Champions League."

Olympiacos dropped their first league points of the season last weekend when they were held to a 1-1 draw by AEK Athens.

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