Zenit will be fully focussed tonight: Tymoshchuk
Borussia Dortmund head to Zenit Saint Petersburg for tonight's Champions League Last 16, first-leg clash on the back of a shock Bundesliga defeat and injury worries
Saint Petersburg: Borussia Dortmund head to Zenit Saint Petersburg for tonight's Champions League Last 16, first-leg clash on the back of a shock Bundesliga defeat and injury worries.
Andrey Arshavin (right) with Anatoliy Tymoschuk. Pic/Getty Images
Last year's Champions League finalists Dortmund slumped to a shock 3-0 defeat at relegation-threatened Hamburg on Saturday night and lost defensive midfielder Sven Bender for the next 10 weeks with an inflamed pelvis.
Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp has promised improvements in Saint Petersburg. "Things will be very different there," said Klopp before yesterday's flight to Russia.
Zenit certainly have the squad to trouble Dortmund with the likes of Brazilian striker Hulk and ex-Arsenal attacking midfielder Andrei Arshavin.
"Our team is fit and we are fully focused, a big plus for us is our great fighting spirit," said Zenit's ex-Bayern midfielder Anatoliy Tymoshchuk.
There is a danger the Russians will be rusty. Zenit have not played since December 6, but won their final warm-up match on Saturday with a 2-0 friendly victory over Estonia's Narva Trans with Venezuelan new-signing Jose Salomon Rondon scoring both goals.
Zenit "is one hundred percent ready for Borussia Dortmund," insisted their Italian coach Luciano Spalletti, but his side won five of their ten friendlies in Qatar, Israel and Turkey over the winter break.
After the Hamburg loss, Dortmund centre-back Manuel Friedrich has said they will not make the same mistake against Zenit.
'Unaffected by loss'
"That was a blip," insisted Friedrich. "If we play like we know we can, then we can beat anyone. Everyone has to question his attitude, results like that can happen, it's hard to explain them.
"Our performance and mood for Tuesday's game won't be affected by the result in Hamburg." Borussia are already without centre-back Neven Subotic, Jakub Blaszczykowski and Ilkay Gundogan.
Germany centre-back Mats Hummels did not train on Sunday and is struggling with an ankle injury. Striker Robert Lewandowski missed training with illness, but will fly to Russia.