Aubameyang fit as Dortmund hunt Anfield cure in Berlin
Borussia Dortmund's Thomas Tuchel says Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be fit for Wednesday's German Cup semi-final at Hertha Berlin as they look to heal the hurt of their Europa League exit at Liverpool.
Aubameyang has scored 37 goals in all competitions for Dortmund this season, but limped out of Monday's training with a toe injury, sparking concerns about his fitness.
"Aubameyang took a hit to his toe in training, which was very painful, but it shouldn't be an issue for Wednesday," assured Tuchel, Dortmund's head coach.
Aubameyang is on an incredible goal-scoring run in the German Cup, having scored in each of Dortmund's last seven cup games -- including their 3-1 defeat to Wolfsburg in the 2015 final -- dating back to the start of last season.
With Bayern Munich meeting Werder Bremen in Tuesday's other semi-final, Dortmund are determined to reach the German Cup final to exorcise the heartache of their dramatic European quarterfinal exit at Anfield.
"The set up is similar to how it was in Liverpool: it's a knock-out game, an away match, we'll be meeting a euphoric opponent, who are full of confidence from the great support of their home fans," said Tuchel.
Tuchel admits Dortmund are still processing last Thursday's 4-3 defeat at Liverpool having thrown away a 3-1 lead.
"It would be hypocritical to say that we will have been working on the Liverpool result until tomorrow -- there is no medicine for that," said Tuchel.
"We are finding things out about ourselves and that's okay. We're on the right path to dealing with it.
"Of course, after such a defeat as that, you feel bitter, but it's not the end of the world.
"It hasn't been an issue in our concrete preparations for tomorrow."
Asides from Anfield, there has also been the off-field distraction of media reports that, with a year left on his Dortmund contract, Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has agreed a five-year deal to join Manchester City for next season.
Having lost last year's cup final, Dortmund are eager to beat Berlin to stay in the hunt for a title as they trail Pep Guardiola's Bayern in the German league and are currently seven points adrift with four games left.
Dortmund make the 500km (310 miles) trek to Germany's capital hoping to again head west for the final in a month's time.
Hertha are bidding to reach the final for the first time since 1993 and with a capacity crowd of 76,233 expected, their coach Pal Dardai says 'the whole city and all the players' are up for this match.
"I expect a team from Hertha with a lot of confidence, who will defend high up the pitch," said Tuchel.
"They are brave in their build-up play and from week to week they are improving their possession.
"Our goal is to be in the final and win it.
"Whether this is a lesson, to learn from the Liverpool game, to play more physically, I would like to differentiate.
"It's not as though things started to unravel after the first goal in Liverpool.
"The lesson of the past few weeks after the international break is very simple: We have to play better.
© 2016 AFP