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Borussia Dortmund faces PSG im the Champions League first-leg tie on Tuesday night. The French side are aiming to finally translate their domestic dominance into European success.
Thomas Tuchel heads back to his former club hoping to avoid the familiar PSG mistakes of the past. Borussia Dortmund have warmed up for this one with some incredible attacking displays, while they have added firepower since the close of the group stage with Erling Braut Haaland on board (who is not cup tied according to UEFA rules).
However, PSG have a few great attacking options of their own. With the French giants making a strong start in the tournament this season, they are a side to fear even after their high-profile exits. After a string of high-scoring clashes for both sides, we expect this one to go the same way.
Borussia Dortmund have made it past the Champions League round of 16 only once in the last five seasons. It was in 2016/17 under current PSG manager Tuchel. That could give the visitors an opportunity, with their improved displays in Europe this term leading some to see PSG as genuine contenders.
Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund have lost four of their last six Champions League home games in the knockout phase (W2), including the last two (2-3 v Monaco in 2016/17, 0-1 v Tottenham in 2018/19). Their European ambitions aren’t likely to stretch too far beyond this game. After all, challenging for the Bundesliga title is likely to come first for Dortmund.
While PSG’s Champions League collapses are infamous, they do tend to start off well in the first knockout round. They’ve scored twice in their opening Champions League game of the year in 2016, 2017 and 2019. With Dortmund conceding seven goals across their last three games and eight in their last four in Europe, that record should continue.
PSG come into this clash having found the net twice or more in 21 of their last 22 matches. In Europe, they’ve scored twice or more in four of their last five trips, including visits to Manchester United and Real Madrid. Given their array of attacking talent, we’re backing over 1.5 PSG goals in this game.
Borussia Dortmund have always scored at least two goals in their six Champions League home games against French clubs. They are capable of repeating that given the impressive attacking talent at the club, so we can see them causing problems for PSG as well. We are backing these two to play out a thrilling 2-2 draw on Tuesday night.
DOR VS PSG: Match timing and details
The game will be played on 19th February 2020 at 01:30 AM. The venue is Signal Iduna Park, the home stadium of Borussia Dortmund. The live scores and scoreboard details will be available on the official websites.
DOR VS PSG: Recent form
DOR VS PSG: Head-to-head
The two sides have previously met each other just twice, the last of which ended as a stalemate.
Their only other clash, which was the reverse fixture of the aforementioned, finished in a 1-1 draw.
DOR VS PSG: Predicted starting lineup
Borussia Dortmund: Bürki; Piszczek, Akanji, Hummels; Hakimi, Can, Witsel, Guerreiro; Sancho, Haaland, Hazard.
PSG: Navas; Meunier, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Bernat; Di María, Gueye, Verratti, Neymar; Icardi, Mbappé.
DOR VS PSG: Best players
Dortmund: Mats Hummels
Hummels was present the last time Borussia Dortmund reached European club’s footballs grandest showpiece event. He couldn’t prevent Bayern Munich winning their fifth title at Wembley, but the wealth of experience he brings to this young Dortmund side is invaluable. The 70-time capped German international centre-back will need to be at his imperious best against one of Europe’s most devastating attacks and to say he’s up for the challenge would be an understatement.
“It is very important that we managed to keep a clean sheet. Except for two chances, we hardly allowed them anything at all at the back because we were focused in every position. It wasn’t a clean sheet for the defence, but for the entire team,” he said after Dortmund’s 4-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.
“With our offensive quality, we don’t have to take a lot of risks to create chances. The guys up front are so dangerous that we get chances to score in every game except in Munich. There were a lot of good things today. If we take that with us, we will have a very good chance against Paris.”
Key stat: Mats Hummels has made the most interceptions (28) by any player in this season’s Champions League.
There are very few better than Neymar when he’s on song but his spell at PSG – who made him the world’s most expensive footballer back in 2017 – has been mixed at best. His numbers are impressive, 66 goals across 76 matches in all competitions, but the fact he’s never played a Champions League quarter-final or beyond since joining must weigh heavily on his mind.
A recent knock against Montpellier, which saw him sustain bruised ribs, initially put his involvement for this encounter in some doubt. However, PSG boss Thomas Tuchel is confident the mercurial Brazilian forward will play some role at the Westfalenstadion.
“For Neymar, we have to decide with the doctor after the test,” he told reporters.
“But I am convinced he will help us and with this game we will keep going, and we hope he will be uninjured and be able to play a few games in a row until the end of the season.”
Key stat: Neymar’s last Champions League knockout appearance came more than two years ago on February 14, 2018.
DOR VS PSG: Predicted Dream11 Team
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