Football: Dortmund's Aubameyang bids to eclipse mentor Pirlo

Dortmund's Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (left) vies with Juventus' defender Giorgio Chiellini during the Uefa Champions League round of 16 first leg football match Juventus vs Borussia Dortmund at the Juventus stadium in Turin on Feb 24
Dortmund's Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (left) vies with Juventus' defender Giorgio Chiellini during the Uefa Champions League round of 16 first leg football match Juventus vs Borussia Dortmund at the Juventus stadium in Turin on Feb 24, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP

TURIN (AFP) - Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang admits he learned a lot from Juventus "phenomenon" Andrea Pirlo but has warned he is in the hunt for goals when the sides meet in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie in Turin on Tuesday.

Juventus welcome Jurgen Klopp's men buoyed by stretching their Serie A lead over title challengers Roma to nine points.

For Borussia, meanwhile, the fight to extricate themselves from a surprising battle against relegation goes on despite three consecutive wins.

Alongside fellow forward Marco Reus, Aubameyang has been pivotal in transforming Borussia's form with four goals and two assists in his last three games.

And the Gabon forward, who played alongside Pirlo at AC Milan, said he plans to emulate his brother Willy, who scored against Juventus, albeit in a friendly, while he was at the San Siro club from 2007-2011.

"My brother scored against Juventus in a friendly once, and he told me, 'now it's your turn'," Aubameyang told reporters on Monday. "If I don't score it will mean he's better than me." It was during his own spell at Milan - who sent him on loan to no fewer than four clubs before selling him to Saint-Etienne - that Aubameyang got to know the player considered the beating heart of the Juventus and Italy team: Pirlo, who was a mainstay of the Milan side from 2001-11.

But while the fleet-footed Gabon forward is thankful for the experience, he admits his move to Germany in 2013 has allowed him to grow as a player.

"At Milan I learned a lot, and I've still got great memories of my time there," added Aubameyang.

"It's always nice to play against top players. I played with Pirlo at Milan, he's a phenomenon. But for me, coming back to Italy gives me the chance to show what I'm capable of. It is going to be a great game." Klopp is expected to deploy a 4-2-3-1 formation with Aubameyang playing in front of a three-man attacking midfield featuring Reus, Shinji Kagawa and Jakub Blaszczykowski.

The Borussia coach put his side's poor domestic form in the first half of the season down to the destabilising effect of losing key players, including Reus, to injury.

But he believes Borussia have every chance of progressing to continue what has been an impressive campaign in Europe so far.

"It's football, so of course we have a chance," said Klopp, whose side lost just once and scored 14 goals in the group phase to top their table.

"Juve are a really experienced side, they're clever and have a totally different tactical approach than us."

"We have to make things happen if we want to progress to the next phase. But we're motivated to show what we can do."

"It's time to show our mettle. For Borussia, meeting Juventus is a great prospect."