On Wednesday night, Dortmund welcome Club Brugge to Signal Iduna Park for match day 5 with an opportunity to advance to the knockout stage on the line. With 9 points, Dortmund stand in strong position no matter the result, but with a first place finish within grasp, they can not afford to waste points.
Brugge has managed to take four points from Monaco and of course lost a heart breaker in the final minutes against Dortmund back in September. They are a team that has shown fight in the Champions League even with the enormous talent gap and are still theoretically capable of advancing.
This being said, fans should feel confident that BVB will not need a fortunate bounce in the final minutes to escape with 3 points this time.
I think this confidence is the main story line heading into this game. This rematch is a great time to step back and observe how far this Dortmund team has come since the last time these two teams met.
After the first match up, there was a lot to question. The team was having an up and down start to the season. A dominant win over Leipzig followed by a disappointing draw to Hannover. A win over Frankfurt followed by a nail biter against Club Brugge. The team was still in the early stages under Lucien Favre, and it was unclear where they were headed the rest of the season. This was back in the days where it was still unclear if the team had a usable striker.
How things have changed. Paco Alcacer is a star, Favre has the team clicking on all cylinders, and the team is firmly at the top of the Bundesliga. With improvement and success, however, comes higher expectations. The result against Brugge the first time was already a disappointment, now it would be unacceptable.
Now is the opportunity to show how much improvement has been made under Favre in the last few months. Now is the time to clinch a spot in the knockout stage and stake their claim at the top of the group. The expectations have been raised, and Dortmund must embrace and live up to these new expectations on Wednesday night. I think they will. Score Prediction: Dortmund win 3-0.