Stuttgart v Borussia Dortmund: Juve tie no distraction, says Klopp
Jurgen Klopp has insisted he is not distracted by Borussia Dortmund's UEFA Champions League clash with Juventus and will play his strongest team against the Bundesliga's bottom club Stuttgart.
Resurgent Dortmund visit the Mercedes-Benz Arena on Friday - just four days before travelling to Turin for the first leg of their last-16 tie with the Italian champions.
Dortmund infamously endured a nightmarish first half of the campaign, but have picked up of late and Klopp could be forgiven for being tempted to leave a number of his key men out against Stuttgart - who prop up the table having not won since mid-December.
But the coach has ruled out that prospect as he hopes to build on Dortmund's recent momentum, which sees them looking to record a third straight league victory for the first time this season.
"We will field the best team against Stuttgart - I won't rest anyone for the Juve match," Klopp told his pre-match media conference on Wednesday.
Despite his determination to play his first-choice XI, Klopp could be undermined by a bout of flu that appears to be spreading through his squad.
Erik Durm and Jakub Blaszczykowski are definitely sidelined with the virus, while captain Mats Hummels and youngster Jeremy Dudziak are also struggling.
Striker Ciro Immobile is available after recovering from his illness, though, and Klopp may also be able to call on Sven Bender (knee) and Sebastian Kehl (shoulder), who have returned to training.
Klopp went on to say Dortmund are improving quickly as the season heads into its final stages, and called on his players to rediscover the vibrant, fearless style of play that has made them one of Europe's best and most respected teams in recent years.
"We still have problems but we are dealing with them better and better," he added.
"We've had a guilty conscience for long enough - now we have to start playing positively."
In stark contrast to Dortmund's morale-boosting, come-from-behind 4-2 victory over Mainz last time out, struggling Stuttgart were undone by Sebastian Rudy's 93rd-minute winner as they went down 2-1 at Hoffenheim.
Huub Stevens' side have won just four Bundesliga games all season, although a surprise victory on Friday would lift Stuttgart to within a point of 15th-placed Dortmund.
However, Klopp's plan to field his best team, which is sure to include star man Marco Reus, will not be welcomed by Stevens.
Reus scored a hat-trick in the corresponding fixture last season, as Dortmund came from two goals down to win 3-2.