Thursday, March 30, 2023

Borussia Dortmund vs Legia Warszawa: Team News, Key Players, Prediction And Stats

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Anas Molla
An ageing teenager who apparently still likes Twenty One Pilots and HIMYM. Also fascinated by Greek and Egyptian mythology and history. Still waiting for my man Milos Raonic to win a Grand Slam.

Borussia Dortmund will return to Champions League after one year of absence when they take on Polish champions Legia Warszawa, who themselves are returning to the tournament for the first time since 1995/96 season.

Dortmund’s dismal record in the 2014/15 Bundesliga campaign saw them competing for the Europe League title last season. After reaching the Round of 16 stage in the Europa League last season, Dortmund were beaten by Liverpool, managed by their ex-manager Jürgen Klopp. However, Dortmund have looked promising under new coach Thomas Tuchel, helping them finish second last season with a record 78 points!

Legia on the other hand, are also the first Polish club to enter into the competition after 20 years. The latest Ekstraklasa side to have made through the tournament group stage was RTS Widzew Lodz in 1996/97 season, the year when Dortmund won their one and only Champions League.

Even though these two teams haven’t yet met on a competitive stage, Dortmund played a friendly against Legia in 29th of July, 2012. Robert Lewandowski, a product of Legia’s league rivals Lech Poznan, scored the only goal to give the Bundesliga side a 1:0 victory on that occasion.

No doubt this will be a big occasion for Legia, who are returning to the competition after 21 years. But there are plenty of issues for Legia head coach Besnik Hasi as his team are in a terrible run of form. They haven’t won in any of their last five home matches and failed to score in three of them.

At the same time, Dortmund are also struggling to find form in the early season. After losing to Bayern in the Supercup, Dortmund edged past Mainz 2:1 but fell were beaten by a last-gasp goal by Naby Keita of Leipzig in their last Bundesliga encounter.

Dortmund looked pretty dull going forward even with the presence of superstars such as Andre Schurrle, Mario Götze and Aubameyang. BVB failed to break the strong defence of RB Leipzig, who pounced on the counter to snatch themselves an epic 1:0 win over die Schwarzgelben.

Team News

Dortmund head coach Thomas Tuchel will miss a few players ahead of their Champions League clash against Legia. Centre-back Neven Subotic and fullback Erik Durm are among the absentees for Dortmund. Also, Marco Reus is very doubtful for the game.

Besnik Hasi, however, will have no real significant absentees for the game against Dortmund.

Key Players

Julian Weigl has a point to prove in the Dortmund squad. The 21-year-old enjoyed a breakout season with Dortmund last year but hasn’t found the game time in the pre-season with the arrival of Sebastian Rode. In the game against Leipzig, Weigl had a relatively poor game, being untidy with the ball, poor first touches, some mistakes we don’t generally associate him with. However, it’s not a bad sign either as he already spoken about his willingness of adding more dimension to his game. It’s clearly visible that Weigl is trying to stay on the ball for much longer and trying more risky passes. He’d be a one to watch out for against Legia on Wednesday.

LEIPZIG, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 10: Oliver Jason Burke (R) of Leipzig battles for the ball with Julian Weigl of Dortmund during the Bundesliga match between RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund at Red Bull Arena on September 10, 2016 in Leipzig, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEIPZIG, GERMANY – SEPTEMBER 10: Oliver Jason Burke (R) of Leipzig battles for the ball with Julian Weigl of Dortmund during the Bundesliga match between RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund at Red Bull Arena on September 10, 2016 in Leipzig, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Hungarian forward Nemanja Nikolics will be the main man for Legia. A poacher in front of goal and also a chance creator, Nikolics has the ability of a top notch striker. He is a cool customer when it comes to converting chances and also has a lethal shot. Nemanja Nikolic scored five of Legia Warsaw’s seven goals in this season’s Champions League qualifiers (71%) and considering how weak Dortmund’s defence have been, in the recent games, Nikolics may well show his magic in order to cause a major upset.


This is going to be big for Legia and the players would be itching to impress but as far the merit of the competition is concerned, we can expect Dortmund to win this with a 3:1 score line.

Key Stats (Credits to FourFourTwo)

  • This is the first competitive encounter between Legia Warsaw and Borussia Dortmund.
  • It’s also the first meeting between a Polish and German club in the Champions League since 1996/97 when Borussia Dortmund faced Widzew Lódz in the group stages. Dortmund won 2-1 at home and drew in Poland (2-2).
  • Legia Warsaw’s five home games in European competition against German clubs have produced 29 goals, an average of 5.8 per game. Their only win in those five home games came in the 1968/69 Fairs Cup against 1860 Munich.
  • It had been 20 years since a Polish club last made it to the group stages of the Champions League (Widzew Łódź in 1996/97).
  • This is Legia Warsaw’s second appearance in the Champions League after 1995/96 when they reached the quarter-finals, only to be knocked out by Panathinaikos.
  • This is Legia manager Besnik Hasi’s second Champions League group stage as manager. In 2014/15 with Anderlecht, he won only one of his six games but remained unbeaten away from home with draws at Galatasaray, Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund.
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