Do you guys hear that? It’s the sound of the Champions League anthem once again! Fasten your seat belts and get your low-to-mediocre expectations ready, as Borussia Dortmund try to avoid making a total fool of themselves in the world’s premier club tournament! On Tuesday evening, Borussia Dortmund will welcome FC Copenhagen to the Westfalenstadion, and luckily for all of you, as a great ol’ Dane myself (actually I’m native Korean, but that’s a discussion for another time), I know plenty about the league that Copenhagen are representing, the Danish Superligaen.
Last season, FC Copenhagen were crowned Danish champions in front of their bitter rivals FC Midtjylland, earning them a spot in the Champions League playoffs against Turkish champions Trabzonspor. They beat the Black Sea Storm 2-1 on aggregate to claim a spot in the group stages of the tournament, which was pretty unexpected here in Denmark. I watched both legs of that Champions League playoff, and Copenhagen’s biggest strength clearly lies in their defensive organization.
“FCK” currently sit 5th in the Superliga, eight games into the season, which is a bit underwhelming by their standards. When it comes to the Champions League, we can be sure that they will come into this tournament with everything to win and absolutely nothing to lose.
I don’t exactly expect Niklas Süle to start, but I hope he will. He won the Champions League with Bayern Munich in 2019/20, and that experience will surely come in handy in BVB’s defense. As for the rest of the line-up, Terzic doesn’t really have many options, does he? Dahoud is out with a shoulder injury, Malen is still recovering from a thigh injury, and JBG probably won’t feature after his shoulder injury against TSG Hoffenheim. The only player who will probably return to the squad is Karim Adeyemi.
Even though this isn’t our best line-up, it’s certainly enough to overcome an FC Copenhagen side that is currently struggling for form, despite qualifying for the Champions League.
Player to Watch: Andreas Cornelius
Andreas Cornelius joined FC Copenhagen from their recent Champions League opponents, Trabzonspor, on Denmark’s transfer deadline day. After a semi-successful stint abroad, “Corner” returns home to the club where it all began.
Cornelius was the top goalscorer for the title-winning Trabzonspor last season, bagging 15 goals and 3 assists over 37 matches. He has been a fan favorite in the Danish national team for a long time, and he’s an obvious candidate for the “Superligaen” top scorer this season. The now 29-year old striker isn’t the most flashy forward, but believe me when I say that he’s strong and very good with his head (his nickname is “Corner” because he used to score from corner kicks like they were penalties earlier in his career).
Despite acquiring the services of Andreas Cornelius, FC Copenhagen have actually had a pretty bad transfer window. They have offloaded very good players such as Pep Biel (to Olympiakos) and Jens Stage (to Werder Bremen), and they aren’t necessarily as strong as they were last season. Their defense is still very good though. Despite this, I believe Dortmund will get it done because of the sheer difference in quality. I predict a 3-0 win.