12.03.2024 21:35 h

Dortmund embrace 'favourites' tag ahead of PSV clash

Borussia Dortmund striker Donyell Malen said Tuesday his side were embracing their "favourites" tag ahead of the last-16 second leg against PSV Eindhoven.

"Are we the favourites? We're playing at home -- I think we are," Malen told reporters, with Wednesday's tie evenly poised after a 1-1 draw in the Netherlands in February.

Malen moved to Dortmund from PSV in 2021 and has had his best season yet in Germany, scoring in the first leg.

Alongside Porto, PSV are the last remaining team from outside the top five European leagues, but Peter Bosz's unbeaten side have played an incredible domestic season, dropping just six of a possible 75 points.

Dortmund, by contrast, have performed poorly in Germany but have impressed in the Champions League, qualifying first from a group featuring Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Newcastle.

"Our season is not over yet," Dortmund coach Edin Terzic said Tuesday. "We've got a huge chance and we want to invest everything for it.

"We can go in with a good feeling tomorrow -- we've earned that after some hard work in the first leg."

Dortmund are unbeaten at their 80,000-seat Westfalenstadion home in the Champions League this season and have only lost two of their past 19 European matches.

PSV coach Peter Bosz knows the atmosphere well, having had a six-month stint as Dortmund manager in 2017 before getting the sack as results turned bad.

Bosz said Tuesday: "I know from experience it can get very loud.

"At the beginning, the atmosphere will be very good for Dortmund.

"But when we play our best football, it might quieten down a bit. That's up to us."

The abolition of the away goals rule means the winner on Wednesday will progress, whether in regulation or extra time.

Malen told reporters: "We haven't been thinking about a penalty shootout, but of course we've been practising."

Bosz said his side had also been practising from the spot but added "handling the pressure" would be most important in a shootout.

The hosts, who lifted the title in 1997 and played the final in 2013, are looking to make the quarter-finals for the first time since 2021.

PSV last made the quarter-finals in 2006-07, before losing to eventual finalists Liverpool.

Dortmund will be without injured striker Sebastien Haller and defender Nico Schlotterbeck, who is on a yellow card suspension. Veteran Mats Hummels is likely to step in.