Only two weeks after soundly defeating Atletico Madrid 4-0 in the Champions League, Borussia Dortmund will be facing Los Rojiblancos once again, this time in their home city. The 4-0 defeat to BVB being one of their worst in recent memory, Atletico Madrid will undoubtedly be out for a bit of redemption, and this time will have the full support of the Wanda Metropolitano at their backs. While BVB have all but guaranteed a trip to the Champions League Knockout Round, first place in the group is still up for grabs, and a defeat today could put Atletico Madrid within striking distance of that coveted first place.
The Reverse Fixture
You probably don’t need to be reminded of what happened two weeks ago, but in case you do, here’s a refresher:
It was arguably BVB’s greatest victory of the season, one that certainly put Borussia Dortmund back on the radars of Europe’s elite clubs. As Gregory detailed in his tactical review, it was an absolute masterclass by Lucien Favre, who used Diego Simeone’s own tactics against him, to devastating effect.
With a showdown against Bayern Munich looming, the priority will be to keep BVB’s key players healthy and rested. That means that Favre will probably heavily rotate. Lukasz Piszczek and Mario Götze both made the trip to Madrid after missing the match against Wolfsburg due to injuries, so they could both start. If I were Favre, I would also rest Axel Witsel and let Julian Weigl start. The same would go for Jadon Sancho and Christian Pulisic, although I would have both be available to come off the bench in case a late goal is needed. I could also see Favre resting Paco Alcacer, who played 78 minutes on Saturday, in favor of Maximilian Philipp.
Atletico Madrid have caught a case of the injury bug. Both Diego Godin and Diego Costa are expected to miss tomorrow’s match, although they still have plenty of firepower to go around in Antoine Griezmann, Thomas Lemar, and Angel Correa.
Assuming BVB field a heavily rotated squad, I wouldn’t expect the type of victory we saw two weeks ago. Atletico have conceded exactly one goal in at home in La Liga so far, so generating any level of offense will be a feat unto itself. I expect BVB to score, but I also think Atletico will bounce back and hold BVB to a 1-1 draw.