Tuchel not giving up on top spot

Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel refuses to give up on top spot in their Europa League group ahead of Thursday's home game against PAOK.

The Bundesliga outfit sit joint top with Krasnodar in Group C, but the Russian outfit hold the better head-to-head record.

BVB therefore need Krasnodar to spill points against Qabala while beating PAOK themselves, yet Tuchel remains hopeful they can finish first.

"It will be very difficult to beat PAOK, but we will do everything within our power to win this group," Tuchel said at a news conference.

"We were given a very unpleasant group in the draw, even if our opponents were not big names. All teams are quite close to each other.

"There will be a lot of entertaining games once the knockout stages begin."

Tuchel has yet to decide on his starting XI versus PAOK, but he will have to make do without the services of Ilkay Gundogan.

"I have not made a final decision on the team yet. I will think about it this evening and on Thursday morning," he added.

"Gundogan will not play on Thursday, but will be training again."

Gonzalo Castro, meanwhile, is determined to finish top of their group as well, while he also took the time to praise star player Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

"We want to do our utmost to win the game and have a chance of winning our group," Castro said at a news conference.

"We know that PAOK are very strong on the counterattack, but we are fully fit and raring to go.

"I am very happy to be playing alongside someone like Aubameyang."

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