Stoger's boys have stom­ach for a fight

Gotze may play but Reus still out

Sport360 - - Bundesliga - By Ry­land James @ry­land­james edi­to­rial@sport360.com

Borus­sia Dort­mund will be with­out Ger­many winger Marco Reus for their first Bun­desliga match of 2018 to­mor­row at home to Wolfs­burg, but could wel­come back Mario Gotze.

Dort­mund’s first league match af­ter the win­ter break is still too early for Reus, 28, who tore knee lig­a­ments in the Ger­man Cup fi­nal last May.

Al­though he is back in train­ing, there is “no pos­si­bil­ity” of Reus fac­ing mid-ta­ble Wolfs­burg, ac­cord­ing to head coach Peter Stoger.

Like­wise cap­tain Mar­cel Sch­melzer is out with a calf in­jury and mid­fielder Raphael Guer­reiro has an in­jured thigh.

“Any­one who knows me, knows how im­pa­tient I am,” Reus told Ger­man daily Bild.

“But I am back af­ter a bad in­jury and I have no de­sire to have any­more prob­lems ( by com­ing back too soon).”

World Cup win­ner Gotze, 25, is also train­ing again af­ter an an­kle in­jury he suf­fered last Novem­ber, but has no guar­an­tee of start­ing against Wolfs­burg.

“He was gone for a long time and a few train­ing ses­sions don’t guar­an­tee that he can play over the 90 min­utes,” said Stoger.

“Al­ready af­ter a few days in trainParis ing you could see what you can’t take away from him: his qual­i­ties.

“But we have to see how phys­i­cally fit he is.”

There is some good news in that nine of the squad, who were struck down with stom­ach com­plaints at the start of the week at the win­ter train­ing camp in Mar­bella, are back in train­ing.

Stars such as Ro­man Burki, Marc Bar­tra, An­dre Schur­rle, Chris­tian Pulisic and Nuri Sahin were all laid low af­ter re­port­edly eat­ing con­tam­i­nated chicken skew­ers in Spain.

“The lads who had the prob­lem are all back in train­ing and com­pleted the full pro­gramme,” said Stoger.

Dort­mund are up to third in the ta­ble, and were 13 points be­hind lead­ers Bay­ern Mu­nich be­fore the league lead­ers played Lev­erkusen yes­ter­day, af­ter win­ning their last two league games un­der Stoger while Wolfs­burg are mid-ta­ble.

Stoger man­aged to stop the rot fol­low­ing the dis­missal of Peter Bosz, who was sacked af­ter Dort­mund went eight league games with­out a win hav­ing held a five­point lead in the ta­ble at the end of Septem­ber.

Mean­while, Pierre-Em­er­ick Aubameyang has promised some­thing spe­cial, as he bat­tles with Bay­ern’s Robert Le­wandowski to be the league’s top-scorer.

“I’ve some­thing in mind for when I get there, but it’s a sur­prise,” said Aubameyang, who is two short of 100 Bun­desliga goals.

Sec­ond-placed Schalke, who are 11 points be­hind run­away lead­ers Bay­ern Mu­nich, play to­day at fifth­placed RB Leipzig, who are fend­ing off spec­u­la­tion rife about Liver­pool-bound Naby keita.

“The lads who had the (stom­ach) prob­lem are back in train­ing” - Stoger

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