The first international break of the season is finally winding down. Dortmund players will be returning to Germany, and will be set to continue their early Bundesliga campaign this weekend against Freiburg.
But next week, another challenge looms. The Champions League group stage will get underway, and Dortmund will begin the competition with a tough match-up against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium.
Today, all the squads taking part in the group stage finalized their squads. Here is Dortmund’s selection, which features some notable omissions.
Dortmund's Champions League Squad
Roman Bürki, Roman Weidenfeller, Dominik Reimann, Eike Bansen*
Dan-Axel Zagadou, Neven Subotic, Marc Bartra, Jeremy Toljan, Jan-Niklas Beste*, Sokratis, Lukasz Piszczek, Marcel Schmelzer, Ömer Toprak, Erik Durm, Till Schumacher*
Nuri Sahin, Raphael Guerreiro, Sebastian Rode, Mahmoud Dahoud, Christian Pulisic*, Shinji Kagawa, Gonzalo Castro, Julian Weigl, Jacob Bruun Larsen*, David Sauerland*
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Andriy Yarmolenko, Mario Götze, Aleksander Isak, Maximilian Philipp, Andre Schürrle, Janni Serra*
* are players included on the B list.
These are the only players who can appear for Dortmund in the group stage, but they will submit a new squad if they qualify for the knockout stages.
Marco Reus’ absence makes sense, as he is still injured and will need to be brought back slowly from this latest ailment. Maybe, if he can get back to full strength and Dortmund can progress, then there will be a spot for him in Peter Bosz’s squad for the next rounds.
Jadon Sancho’s omission may surprise some, but this kid is just not ready for the Champions League yet, let alone first team senior football at Dortmund. He is only 17, and his only experience is with the youth teams of Manchester City and England. Sancho’s time will come.
But Dortmund enter the competition with a strong squad. And they’ll need it. Group H has been labeled as the group of death in this year’s edition of the tournament. Bosz’s team will need to beat out one of either Real Madrid or Tottenham in order to progress.
It will be a tough task, but it’s going to be a thrilling group for the neutral.