Dortmund shares setback about Haller ahead of return match against Atlético

Sébastien Haller will not be able to play for Borussia Dortmund against Atlético Madrid on Tuesday evening. The former FC Utrecht and Ajax striker will be sidelined for several weeks, Dortmund coach Edin Terzic reported at a press conference on Monday.

Dortmund shares setback about Haller ahead of return match against Atlético
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The absence of Sébastien Haller for Borussia Dortmund's crucial Champions League quarterfinal return leg against Atlético Madrid at Signal Iduna Park presents a significant challenge for the team.

Haller, who was pivotal in keeping Dortmund’s hopes alive with his goal in the 2-1 defeat in Madrid, suffered an ankle injury just ten minutes into the weekend's Bundesliga encounter with Borussia Mönchengladbach. Despite hopes for a quick recovery, the Ivorian striker has not made sufficient progress and will miss the upcoming match, with an expected absence of at least two weeks.

Coach Edin Terzic is faced with a tactical dilemma as he prepares his team without one of their key offensive weapons. "Sébastien is suffering too much from his ankle and needs to rest for a week. We expect that he will not be available for at least two weeks," Terzic relayed during a press conference, highlighting the severity of Haller's condition. The decision on who will lead Dortmund's attack in Haller’s absence is pending, with Terzic noting that he will finalize his choice after further assessing the team's readiness in the next two training sessions.

Potential replacements include Niclas Füllkrug and Youssoufa Moukoko, both of whom have demonstrated their capabilities in Dortmund's attack. Moukoko, who replaced Haller in the recent Bundesliga match, and later gave way to Mats Hummels, could be a key figure. The duo's performance in prior matches suggests they could be effective together upfront if chosen.

Adding to the strategic adjustments, it is anticipated that Donyell Malen, alongside Ian Maatsen, will be in the starting lineup for the crucial match. Malen, a Dutch international, provided a spark off the bench in the last game and will likely play a more significant role against Atlético. His agility and skill set could prove crucial as Dortmund looks to overturn the first-leg deficit and secure a place in the semifinals.

On the opposition front, Atlético Madrid will also be without key player Memphis Depay, who is sidelined due to a muscle injury sustained prior to the first leg. His absence could affect Atlético's attacking dynamics, potentially leveling the playing field somewhat for Dortmund.

As both teams prepare for what promises to be a tightly contested match, the focus will be on how Dortmund adapts without Haller and whether Atlético can capitalize on the absence of one of Dortmund's key threats. The decisions made in the coming days will undoubtedly influence the outcome and potentially the future progression of both teams in this year's Champions League campaign.