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U17s to go into semi-final against Leipzig with confidence

U17s to go into semi-final against Leipzig with confidence
U17s to go into semi-final against Leipzig with confidence

Borussia's U17s have rewarded themselves for an outstanding season in the B-Junior Bundesliga West by qualifying for the Final Round of the German Championship and will meet Rasenballsport Leipzig in the first leg of the semi-final at the Jugendstadion at the Youth Performance Centre at 11:00 CEST on Wednesday 1 May.

"They will be two very close games, the chances are 50-50. We want to put ourselves in a good position at home ahead of the return leg on Saturday," said coach Marco Lehmann, as he outlined the objective against a team "that is extraordinarily strong on the ball and sharp and courageous off the ball". Lehmann and his colleagues have now spent 14 days focusing on the opposition and have analysed Leipzig down to the finest details. Predominantly, however, they trust their own strengths. Marco Lehmann explained: "We have not lost a match since October and will go into the Final Round full of confidence. If we're already in the semi-finals, there's no point in losing."

A win would see Lehmann and his lads continue a good tradition: BVB have previously qualified for the final of the German B-Junior Championship on 14 occasions and have claimed the title seven times, most recently in 2018 (3-2 against Bayern Munich). On their last appearance in the final in 2019, a team featuring current Bundesliga players Youssoufa Moukoko and Ansgar Knauff (Eintracht Frankfurt) lost 3-2 to then western pool runners-up 1. FC Köln at Stadion Rote Erde. The West German runners-up also triumphed last season, with Arminia Bielefeld beating Wolfsburg 2-1. One of Bielefeld's key players, Nick Cherny, then moved to BVB in the summer of 2023. The attacker, one of Dortmund's key performers, will miss the final round with a metatarsal fracture.

Previous friendly meeting with Leipzig

Leipzig finished the Nord/Nordost campaign with 66 points and claimed the title ahead of VfL Wolfsburg (59). "We have a very diverse squad and have many different goalscorers," coach Philipp Seidler said of his squad. The Borussia players saw the opposition's quality in a friendly fixture in March. BVB might have emerged as 2-1 winners, but Marco Lehmann recalled: "We had huge problems gaining control over the game and the opponent. But it does not tell us anything about the upcoming semi-final matches because many players were missing on both sides."

The Borussia players got themselves in the mood for the semi-finals with an impressive 6-2 win against Schalke. "The two goals we conceded in the closing stages annoyed us and sharpened our senses once again," said Lehmann, who is spoilt for choice when it comes to the squad and starting line-up: "I have to upset some of the lads. Everyone deserves to be there." Valon Cena, who was rested in the derby, will return to the starting XI. Only the injured duo of Nick Cherny and Tyler Meiser are missing.

The BVB delegation will head to the hotel on Tuesday evening, with the lads then heading to Brackel for the biggest game of their careers to date on Wednesday morning. "It will be fervent, exciting and intense," said Marco Lehmann. (wiwi)

Fan info for the U17 game

Borussia are hoping for plenty of fans. The ticket offices will open at 9:30 CEST on matchday. Children up to 14 years of age enter for free. Adult seated tickets cost €3, while standing tickets cost €2. 1,500 spectators will be permitted. We ask that you arrive in good time and that you only park in the designated areas.

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