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Match preview: Can Dortmund bounce back against Benfica in the Champions League?

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SL Benfica v Torino - Eusebio Cup Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

1-0 is the score we have to overcome if we are to advance in the Champions League. After our 1-0 loss away to Benfica in the first leg many fans are feeling pessimistic about beating the Portuguese giants. Our main problem against Benfica wasn’t our defense but instead our lack of finishing. We could have honestly beat Benfica 3-1 if our good chances had gone in. However since that loss we have been on fire, beating Wolfsburg and Freiburg 3-0 and blasting Leverkusen 6-2. Our scoring difficulties seem to be behind us for now. Even Castro in a BVB press conference today said we were the favorites. The team is confident we can get a win out of this.

Tuchel says he doesn’t have his game plan worked out but he wants to come out of the gates attacking. He also said Raph will probably not be fit for game. While we don’t have a good idea of who will be replacing Marco in the starting XI, Tuchel did say Durm was a perfect fit for this match so you an probably bet well see him in the lineup. Aubameyang will definitely be in the XI as will Burki and hopefully Sokratis and Bartra. Bartra especially has been good as of late and could be a crucial part of limiting Benfica’s attack . With Reus out expect to see Pulisic or Schurrle fill that void on the wing. Ousmane Dembele is going to have to show up this game if we are to get to the next round. He has been on fire the last month playing like the best guy on the team. If he can keep his head on straight then we are sure to beat that 1-0 margin we need.

As for Benfica’s game plan, they just have to wait. In our last game we gave them few chances with many chances of our own, they still won 1-0. This game will probably look similar with them sitting back and waiting for a good counter attacking opportunity. It will be crucial for Weigl to keep our team in possession and moving to avoid any UCL ending breaks. Benifca have won every game they have played since January 26th. They are no easy opponent to mess with and don’t give up goals easily. Their manager in his press conference today said he didn’t think his team played well in the first leg and they would not allow BVB to play the way they did in the first game.

What are your predictions for the game?