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Match Preview: Injury-Stricken Dortmund Face a Well-Rested Manchester City in the Champions League

Borussia Dortmund will have to stave off former striker Erling Haaland if they have any hope of a positive result.

Borussia Dortmund v FC Copenhagen: Group G - UEFA Champions League
Nico Schlotterbeck controls the ball during Dortmund’s 3-0 win over Sevilla last week.
Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images

I’m not ready to see Erling Haaland score against us. I’m just not.

After an abysmal 0-3 loss to Leipzig over the weekend, Borussia Dortmund will travel to England for the second group stage match of this Champion’s League campaign. BVB looked fatigued on Saturday but hopefully Eden Terzic’s side can find some momentum going into Wednesday’s match.

Borussia Dortmund have been stricken with injuries lately and will be without first-choice keeper, Gregor Kobel, meaning Alexander Meyer will continue to feature. In addition, Dortmund are currently without Sebastian Haller(testicular cancer), Mateu Morey(his other meniscus), Mamoud Dahoud (shoulder surgery), and Jamie Bynoe-Gittens (also shoulder surgery). Reports this morning suggest that Thorgan Hazard, Donyell Malen and Karim Adeyemi have all traveled with the club to Manchester, though their availability may still be limited as each is recovering from recent knocks.

RB Leipzig v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga
Backup keeper Alexander Meyer will hope to have a better night against Manchester City
Photo by Alexandre Simoes/Borussia Dortmund via Getty Images

Manchester City on the other hand will be without Kyle Walker an Aymeric Laporte with John Stones’s fitness in doubt. Manchester City will also feel well-rested as their weekend match was postponed along with the entire Premier League, due to the Queen’s passing. City’s only loss this season has come at the hands of Liverpool in the Community Shield match, and no opponent has managed a clean sheet against Manchester Giants.

Predicted Lineup:

Once again, I’ve been tasked with predicting a lineup after Dortmund are defeated. In normal circumstances, I’d suggest several changes to Saturday’s starting eleven. With all of the injuries piling up however, Dortmund lacks the depth needed to play consistently every 3-4 days. Giovanni Reyna has looked to be the best player recently, but I doubt he’s fit enough to start this match. I do believe that Terzic will need to change his attacking strategy since no BVB player seems to be able to cross the ball into the box. I think Modeste will start on the bench and Moukoko should replace him. I think Terzic should try switching to a back three, but I doubt he will do that against City’s prolific attack. We’ve seen Big Fridge Süle start two matches in a row now; given his recent injuries I think he’ll start on the bench while Mats Hummels will return to the starting line-up.

Players to watch: Erling Braut Haaland and... Manual Akanji?

Erling Haaland is the obvious choice here. After leading Borussia Dortmund’s attack for two and a half years, Erling Haaland predictably joined Manchester City. Also predictably, Haaland has continued to be a goal machine, finding the net ten times in his first six Premier League fixtures. That’s right, Haaland has more goals to his name this term than the entire squads of Manchester United, Chelsea and eleven other Premier League clubs. In addition, he scored his 24th and 25th Champions League goals last week against Sevilla. Haaland now has 25 Champions League goals in just 20 games, a feat that took the likes of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Robert Lewendowski 42 games. It took Christiano Ronaldo 61 games to reach 25. I think we all know that Erling Haaland is/will be a superstar.

Sevilla FC v Manchester City: Group G - UEFA Champions League
Scary Haaland
Photo by Jose Breton/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The other familiar face we may see on Wednesday is Manual Akanji, our BVB defender of the last several years. If he’s in the City defense, he’ll likely make things difficult for Reus, Brandt and company since he’s so familiar with their styles of play.


In all honesty, I don’t feel good about this one. I think many of the Dortmund players will feel ready for a rematch against Manchester City. Their last meeting was in 2019, when the officiating was sub-par and our beloved Jude Bellingham had a screamer of a goal that was later disallowed for questionably dubious reasons. But remember that iconic picture of Belling after the goal? I think I even signed a petition to make that the cover photo of the new Fifa game.

We lost both matches in 2019 and I think we’ll lose this one too. 1-3 is my prediction. I wish our squad wasn't so fatigued; that international break can’t come soon enough!

This is fake, but how cool would that have been?
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What are your thoughts?

  • Can we prevent Erling Haaland from scoring?
  • Which young players should Terzic be giving minutes to? Tom Rothe? Soumaila Coulibaly?
  • Will the good Brandt or the bad Brandt show up?
  • Will the UEFA officiating be fair to both teams?