On Wednesday night Borussia Dortmund will take on Sporting Club Portugal in a decisive match in Group F in the Champions League group stages. With a win the black and yellows would already qualify for the knock-out stages with two games left to play.
Thank God the Month of October is over
Maybe it is a good sign then that BVB will play against the only club they managed to defeat in the month of October. In a dreadful month that saw the club being decimated by injuries, Dortmund lost a lot of the momentum gained by the solid start to the season. However with some of the injured players making their comebacks (Castro, Guerreiro and Schürrle) and some others looming on the horizon (Schmelzer, Reus) things should get better in the near future.
Even without them our young-guns were able to get away with an important 2-1 victory in Lisbon, hopefully they will be able to do the same at home. Sporting is always an uncomfortable opponent.
They have a solid defense but it's on offense where their real strengths lie, with Liverpool-loaned Lazar Markovic and the young Portuguese starlet Gelson Martins they have to of Europe's brightest young wingers that could give Dortmund's shaky backline fits. With Adrien Silva and William Carvalho in central midfield feeding them the ball they could cause trouble.
The Lisbon-based club is coming with baggage of their own though. Since the loss to Dortmund at home, Sporting struggled to win a game just like BVB. They only managed to draw twice against CD Tondela and CD Nacional, two of the bottom-dwellers in the Portuguese Liga NOS. Let's see which team will overcome their recent streak of bad form.
- Goaltender: Roman Bürki
- Defenders: Matthias Ginter, Sokratis, Marc Barta, Felix Passlack
- Midfielders: Julian Weigl - Ousmane Dembélé, Mario Götze, Gonzalo Castro, Christian Pulisic
- Forward: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Piszczek was sent home during the training session on Tuesday because of a stomach illness, Tuchel said in the pregame press conference that he was doubtful for the game. Even though Guerreiro and Schürrle are finally back they will not be able to play the entire game on Wednesday, expect to see them depending on the game. Castro confirmed that he is ready to play and with Shinji Kagawa picking up a knock in the Revierderby on Saturday it is likely that he will start.
It has been a tough month for Borussia Dortmund but things are looking up with some of the injured players coming back. The defense should also be more consistent going forward with Bartra and Sokratis finally healthy AND in form. Both teams are struggling right now but Dortmund should be able to pick up three points and the early qualification for the knock-out rounds.
Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Sporting CP