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Borussia Dortmund v Darmstadt: Tuchel desperate to avoid upset

Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel is determined to avoid an upset when they take on Darmstadt in Sunday's Bundesliga encounter at Signal Iduna Park.

Tuchel's men have been in sublime form this campaign, but their perfect run came to an end on Wednesday when they were held by Hoffenheim after winning 11 in a row under the new boss.

Dortmund were consequently leapfrogged by Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga table and now sit second, two points off the pace.

Tuchel is keen to return to winning ways on Sunday, though, even if he has a lot of respect for Darmstadt's achievements.

"There is a crazy success story taking place at Darmstadt. It's the result of an extraordinary team spirit," Tuchel stated at a press conference.

"There is a distinct willingness to give absolutely everything for the team. There are no egos there.

"They have built on the euphoria and momentum of the last two years and are now an outsider capable of upsetting the big boys. They have the means to. That can happen in football over 90 minutes."

But Tuchel will feel confident his side can avoid a surprise as their last defeat to Darmstadt goes back to October 1978, when Dortmund were beaten 3-2. 

They most recently met in a DFB-Pokal last-16 tie in December 1982, Dortmund running out 4-2 winners despite being 2-0 down at the break.

Neven Subotic, Erik Durm and Nuri Sahin will all miss Sunday's encounter due to injury, but Marcel Schmelzer is expected to feature despite picking up a knock against Hoffenheim.

Darmstadt, meanwhile, have also reason for optimism following their sublime start to the season.

Dirk Schuster's men have already collected nine points from six games, with only champions and current leaders Bayern Munich proving too strong for them.

They beat Werder Bremen 2-1 on Wednesday following a double from Sandro Wagner, but are likely to face a sterner test against a Dortmund side enjoying their best start to a domestic campaign.


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