Saturday 29 April 2017

Thomas Tuchel inspired by Barcelona and Arsenal but only focused on Dortmund

Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel

Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel has described the attacking mentality of Barcelona and Arsenal as "a huge inspiration" but refused to comment on continued speculation over his future.

Tuchel takes his side into Saturday's Bundesliga clash with Bayer Leverkusen having won plaudits since replacing Jurgen Klopp and been touted as a potential replacement for either Luis Enrique or Arsene Wenger.

And the German acknowledged the style of football favoured by the pair, telling a press conference: "The two clubs have the aesthetic to play offensively, so they are a huge inspiration for me and a great influence on my work.

"[But} I rather feel that I'm not at all interested in talking about the two, so I cannot evaluate this speculation."

Tuchel will take his side into the game on a high having claimed back-to-back 3-0 wins which have given them an outside chance of clawing back their eight-point gap to second-placed RB Leipzig.

They will come face to face with defender Omer Toprak, whom Dortmund announced last month they would be signing on a long-term contract from Leverkusen at the end of the season.

Tuchel added: "I am assuming he is going to give us trouble and he will have no inhibitions about putting on a good performance tomorrow. They have individually strong players and we count them up with the best."

Dortmund are still without Mario Gotze as he recovers from his metabolic concern, while Sven Bender and Sebastian Rode are both still out. Alexander Isak is back in training but not expected to feature.

Leverkusen boss Roger Schmidt knows the pressure is mounting on his side as they head into Saturday's game in the wake of last week's comprehensive home defeat by Mainz.

Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller has felt compelled to once again stress there are no doubts over Schmidt's future but another heavy defeat to Dortmund would add further doubt to his position.

Schmidt has no new injury concerns for the trip but Hakan Calhanoglu is ruled out through suspension and Jonathan Tah is once again sidelined due to injury.

Press Association

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