Its time for some Champions league soccer in the Westfalenstadion! Dortmund take on FC Barcelona in the opening game of our Champions League campaign. With both teams having high flying offences this should be a exciting one! For Dortmund, Schulz and Morey are ruled out and Piszczek is questionable. The rest of the team is good to go. For Barcelona they are without Ousmane Dembele(lol) and Samuel Umtiti.
For Dortmunds lineup we will most likely see an unchanged team from Bayer. This team performed wonderfully in our 4-0 thrashing of Bayer and if they can play like that today 3 points will be ours.
Our backline will probably be Piz/Hakimi-Akanji-Hummels-Raphael. While Piz is better defensively then Hakimi, which we will need this game, if he isn’t 100% he may be more a liability then Hakimi on the wing in general. Also Hakimi is a Madrid guy so hopefully we get a derby-esq performance from him. Akanji and Hummels had their first good game together over the weekend. If they both are fully fit(Akanji was not totally fit on Saturday) because they will have lots of pressure put on them today. Raphael played well over the weekend and while he hasn’t extended yet he is playing like a player who wants to be here.
Our midfield will most likely be Witsel-Delaney with Reus ahead of them and Sancho/Brandt on the wings. Witsel is crucial in a game like today. His ability to keep things calm against aggressive teams is a must. Delaney is probably the biggest question mark here as Weigl could start ahead of him. Delaney had what I think was his best game ever in black and yellow against Bayer so if he can keep that form he definitely should play above Weigl. Also this Barcelona team is very easily frustrated and Delaney is the perfect player for those situations. Reus has been on fire this season and this could be a standout game for him if things go right. Sancho has the eyes of all football fans on him this season, this game could very well be the catalyst that launches him to super stardom. However we can’t afford a bad 45 minutes from him, a trend we’ve seen often since he joined the team. On the other wing we will see either Hazard or Brandt. Both actually haven’t done to omuch this season. Maybe this game will be their breakout for the squad.
Upfront we will have Paco Alcacer against his old team. Since joining BVB he has been one of the best strikers in Europe. His time with Barcelona was not as successful and he ha said to the media he didn’t feel too welcome by everyone there. Lets see what Paco Alcacer with a chip on his shoulder can do.
Our game plan is simple. We need to absorb Barca’s pressure and play on the counter. Its a classic BVB style game against this top of the world club. Barcelona has not kept a clean sheet this season. We can get our goals if we are patient. On the other side we need to avoid letting their all star cast run rampant. Witsel, Akanji and Hummels will be crucial in making sure we don’t let Barca trample us in the middle of the field. Not giving up set pieces will be key as we’ve struggled against them so far and Bacra have plenty of dangerous options for corners and FK’s.
So just a few hours until game time, what do you think the optimal lineup today is?