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Legia Warsaw vs. Borussia Dortmund: Key Matchups

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RB Leipzig v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

After a short, one-year hiatus, Dortmund returns to the UEFA Champions League this season, opening up on the road against Polish Ekstraklasa side Legia Warsaw this Wednesday.

Momentum is not on BVB’s side at the moment. After a fairly routing opening day victory, Dortmund took a huge step back on match-day two, falling to Bundesliga debutants RB Leipzig, 1-0.

While it is still early, Dortmund can’t afford to be dropping points in game’s they’re expected to win.

Dropping points has been a huge problem for Legia this season, as the Polish giants find themselves in 12th place out of 16 after falling on Saturday to LKS Nieciecza.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Warsaw’s stingy defense

While Warsaw sit in 12th place of the Polish league and the club’s offensive performance has been abysmal, the defense has done pretty well. Conceding only 9 times in 8 matches should normally put a team in a position to succeed. But alas, nothing doing offensively for Warsaw.

They’ll truly be up against it when Dortmund come to town Wednesday, so expect Warsaw to maintain a defensive posture. It make take Dortmund some time to solve the Legia back-line. Solving opposing defenses has been easy for Dortmund so far this season, as they’ve scored just once from open play all season.

KEY TO THE GAME: Overwhelming attack with few mistakes

It’s taken longer than expected to get everyone on the same page, as chemistry issues are still lingering. This has led to countless mistakes and miscommunications on offense. While the attack has still been present and heavy, mistakes have cost Dortmund goals and valuable league points. Dortmund will need to overwhelm Legia on Wednesday in their attack by keeping passes crisp and committing fewer mistakes.

OPPOSING PLAYER TO WATCH: Nemanja Nikolic

The Bosnian leads Legia with three goals this season out of a team total 8. Nikolic has shown his prowess as a centre forward, showcasing an innate ability to go for goal. Nikolic has truly been the one bright spot of an otherwise disappointing Legia Warsaw squad.

PROJECTED LINEUP:

  • Formation: 4-2-3-1
  • Goalkeeper: Arakadiusz Malarz
  • Defenders: Adam Hlousek, Jakub Rzezniczak, Jakub Czerwinski, Bartosz Bereszynski
  • Midfielders: Guilherme, Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe . . . Valeri Qazaishvili, Thibault Moulin, Kasper Hamalainen.
  • Forwards: Nemanja Nikolic

PREDICTION: Dortmund 3-0

After Saturday’s debacle against Leipzig (rant coming soon), not many are feeling confident about Wednesday’s Champions League fixture. To put it simply: will Dortmund win...yes. Will it be easy or convincing...probably not, especially the way they’ve been playing lately. Still, three goals shouldn’t be impossible.