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Match Preview: A Depleted Dortmund Welcome Sporting Lisbon

UCL football returns to the Westfalenstadion.

Training Session Borussia Dortmund- UEFA Champions League Photo by Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Dortmund will face off against Sporting Lisbon tomorrow, and there are a multitude of factors that could affect the outcome of the match. In the first round of UCL matches, Lisbon were stomped by AFC Ajax on their home soil to the tune of 5-1. This result has tossed the Portuguese champions to the bottom of Group C. Sporting are a strong side, and will be looking to rebound in Germany against a very, very injured Dortmund side.

According to the lads over at BVB Buzz, essentially all of Dortmund’s defense did not train with the team on Monday. The BVB Newsblog took what is, at this point, the simpler approach and listed who is actually still fit. Note their list does not include Thomas Meunier. Though Marco Reus and Julian Brandt have reportedly trained today, Erling Haaland did not join them. If this entire list of players are not available for the game tomorrow, Dortmund could be in serious trouble. The Black and Yelows put up a disjointed and frustrating performance against Borussia Monchengladbach at the weekend; the return of some of some stars is needed to steady the ship, not the loss of new ones.

Sporting, on the other hand, should only be missing Pedro Goncalves and and Goncalo Ignacio for the clash, according to Transfermarkt. Goncalves was in fine form last season and was reportedly courted by Liverpool over a transfer. Dortmund are lucky they will not face off against the tricky forward. The Portugese side have picked up wins in their last two league games, and will be hoping to continue to turn the side after their Dutch drubbing.

Expected Lineup

I am going to make a worst case scenario lineup just to inspire horror over the possibilities.

*upside down smiley face emoji*

While it is possible that Big Zag or Emre Can could slot into the starting line-up, having returned to training, I do not see Marco Rose risking a new injury to two players he really needs back at full health.

This line-up is... concerning. But Dortmund also have had a tendency in the past to throw out a full-power line-up right after reporting a fully injured squad so, maybe that happens. Maybe.

Prediction

Do I have to...?

I am hopeful that the life of the crowd and the majesty of UCL football will bring the absolute best out of the players Dortmund are able to field. Who knows, a young Robert Lewandowski once smashed four past the mighty Real Madrid under the light of the Westfalenstadion, why can’t Jude Bellingham be good for two against Sporting Lisbon?

My prediction is for a 2-2 draw against the Portuguese capital side. Lookfor Thorgan Hazard to draw on his Euro 2020 form and bring the hosts into the game, but I fear a defense as depleted as the one shown above may not be able to keep out the opposition.