With a stuttering few weeks in the Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund look set to put things right in a crucial clash in the Champions League Group F tonight as they visit the Estádio José Alvalade in hope to put their poor form behind them and get back to winning ways against Sporting CP. Sitting second in Group F behind Real Madrid, tonight really is important for Thomas Tuchel’s men to get the points on the board if they have any hope of topping the group with a trip to the Santiago Bernabéu beckoning.
Both clubs are very young and exciting as the match promises to produce moments of magic, both have been excellent in Europe thus far with Dortmund impressing massively in their 6-0 win over Legia Warsaw and Sporting, to their benefit, were hugely impressive in their loss to Real Madrid.
Sporting themselves sit third in the group with three points after suffering a devastating loss to Real Madrid after going ahead and matching them on their home turf. The Leões remain unbeaten in three games as they look to push up the table after tonight’s meeting with die Borussen.
Things aren’t quite as smooth at the Westfalenstadion, with BVB coming unstuck in their last three games and remain without a win since 23 September after beating Freiburg 3-1 with tonight becoming crucial for the Germans.
Sporting have a superlative home record since Jorge Jesus took over in 2015, winning nine straight games in front of their fans losing just three. On the over hand, Dortmund have won six of their nine away European fixtures since Tuchel took over, with tonight expecting to match the billing.
Dortmund really are thin on the ground with this game coming at quite a difficult time for the club. BVB lost their left-back Marcel Schmelzer against Hertha BSC due to injury as he joins the long list of absentees including Sven Bender, Marco Reus, Gonzalo Castro, Raphael Guerreiro and Andre Schurrle with Sokratis remaining a doubt. Tuchel may opt for Passlack to start tonight as they had no left-backs at their disposal with Marc Bartra expected to start after making the bench against Hertha.
Sporting themselves find themselves with injury struck since the beginning of the season with Adrien Silva, Jefferson Petrović, Bruno Paulista all being sidelined for tonight’s fixture and Semedo remaining a doubt for the Portuguese outfit.
Possible Starting XI’s
Borussia Dortmund: Roman Bürki; Łukasz Piszczek, Marc Bartra, Matthias Ginter, Felix Passlack; Julian Weigl; Christian Pulišić, Mario Götze, Shinji Kagawa, Ousmane Dembélé; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Sporting – Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Sebastián Coates, Ruben Semedo, Marvin Zeegelaar; William Carvalho, Elías, Bruno César, Gelson Martins, Bryan Ruiz; Bas Dost.
Prediction; Sporting 1 – 2 Borussia Dortmund
Given that Dortmund are in bad form, and injury struck, the Germans will find it tough against an inform Sporting side on their home turf. However, BVB still have plenty of attacking flair in their potential starting XI to pick up all three points and that’s exactly what many are backing them to do.
Although Sporting are very strong at home and have a very good squad, the force of Dembélé, Aubameyang and Götze will be all too much for them to cope with. Sporting are more than capable of nicking the points of course and there display against Real Madrid shows they’re up for the fight, but without a win in three, and hungry to put things right, Tuchel’s men should leave the capital with all three points in a very tight battle.
Victory for the German side will put them in a very good position; they will be on seven points with three fixtures to go, two being played at the Westfalenstadion and four points ahead of Sporting. If things pan out the way I don’t think they will then Jesus’ men could overtake the Germans in the group.