Tomorrow, Borussia Dortmund will travel to Cyprus to face Apoel Nicosia. If there ever was a time for an old-fashioned Champions League beatdown of a pot 4 side from some obscure corner of Europe, this is one. Borussia Dortmund have just suffered their first home defeat in the Bundesliga in years, to RB Leipzig of all clubs. Even though the club is still top of the league, morale is pretty low. A win would do nicely to reverse this trend.
The good news is that Peter Bosz’s decision to rest Weigl and Dahoud against title-contenders RB Leipzig means they will be rested to face Apoel Nicosia. With their quality in midfield, there is no reason not to expect a win.
As for Apoel, they shouldn’t pose much of a threat to Dortmund. Real Madrid and Tottenham beat them easily enough, and they’re only 4th place in the Cypriot First Division. If Dortmund don’t get all three points, their Champions League campaign will effectively end.
In other news, Marcel Schmelzer could be ready to start against Apoel, which is welcome news. Dan-Axel Zagadou was poor against Leipzig, and Guerreiro is still injured. He flew to Cyprus with the club, but it’s still unclear whether he will start. All of Max Philipp, Christian Pulisic, Aubameyang, and Yarmolenko will be available for squad selection, so Bosz should be able to field a full-power attacking band.
Match Prediction: BVB 3-0 Apoel
Anything less than a comprehensive victory is inexcusable. I expect the players to be motivated and don’t expect Apoel to pose much of a threat. I’m predicting a brace from Aubameyang and a screamer from Yarmolenko.