Bruges (dpa) – A week after the mediocre victory over Saint Petersburg, Bundesliga football team Borussia Dortmund is again challenged in the Champions League. A win on Wednesday (9pm / Sky) could help forget the false start to the league in Lazio (1: 3).
Three successes in a row are encouraging. “It shows that we are on the way up”, said Belgian Thomas Meunier, who played for Club Brugge between 2011 and 2016.
INITIAL SITUATION: After the opening defeat at Lazio Rom (1: 3), BVB is still under pressure despite the 2-0 success in St. Petersburg. A defeat against the one point better substitute from Bruges would seriously jeopardize the intended qualification for the knockout round. Not least because of this, coach Lucien Favre warned his team about their opponents: “It is no coincidence that they are Belgian champions. They are really a very, very good team.”
HISTORY: Both teams face each other for the fourth time in a European Cup competition. The Revierclub has bad memories of the games of 1987 and 2003 with two knockouts. In 1987, a 3-0 win at home was not enough. The return match in the eighth finals of the UEFA Cup was lost 5-0. In 2003 the Dortmund team lost after two games (1: 2/2: 1) on penalties in the play-offs of the Champions League. Only in 2018 BVB in Bruges achieved its first victory in the premier league group match (1-0). The second leg ended 0-0.
HANDICAP: Mats Hummels’ failure hurts. After all, the chief of defense was in impressive shape. In a key role, he contributed to the fact that his team, which is actually known for offensive strength, also recently impressed in defense, staying clean in five of six Bundesliga games. In addition, the 31-year-old veteran recently slipped into the goal scorer role. He scored once in the 3-0 win over Schalke and twice in the 2-0 win in Bielefeld. The comeback of Erling Haaland, who was absent from Bielefeld due to knee problems, could also be postponed, according to Favre. The Norwegian was present at the last training.
CHANGEOVER: After Hummels’ failure, Coach Favre is considering a return to the back three defenders. “We’ll think about it,” Favre revealed. The Swiss actually prefers a solution with four defensive players in a line. That was one of the reasons why his team has been playing with this variant for a few weeks.
RISK: Fear of the virus comes with every Champions League match. To keep the chance of infection as small as possible, BVB has shortened the trip to corona hotspot Belgium. Contrary to usual practice, the team did not complete the final training session in the opponent’s stadium, but in Dortmund and only left for Bruges the night before the game. Immediately after the last whistle he goes home again. “We have to be careful. It is very dangerous what we do. We go to extremes because we travel all over Europe,” said Favre.