Borussia Dortmund will look to bounce back to form as they meet Portuguese outfit Sporting CP on Wednesday at the Signal Iduna Park. The hosts are winless in over a month in the Bundesliga as their last victory came on against SC Freiburg in 24th of September. Before the season, hardly anyone expected them to struggle even with the departures of key players in the summer. But the injuries have forced Tuchel’s hands to change the lineup time and time again.
In their last match day, the Black and Yellows played out a 0:0 draw against FC Schalke in the big Ruhr Derby. Dortmund are also winless in last three of their home games in the Champions League, never before they have gone winless for such a long period at the Signal Iduna Park.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been their best player this season. The Gabonese international has scored seven goals in the Bundesliga and scored in all of his last three fixtures in the UCL, after having more shots on target than anyone else in the competition with nine. Borussia Dortmund is a scoring machine, a fact Sporting should be aware of, the Ruhr side registered more shots than anyone else in the competition and only Barcelona (13) managed to score more than Thomas Tuchel’s team (10) this campaign.
Sporting, on the other hand, have a ‘not so good’ record against German teams. They have lost eight of 11 matches against German oppositions in the Champions League in which they have conceded and won none of their five away games in Germany, a run in which they have conceded 18 goals!
The Portuguese outfit also have a mixed record in their Champions League history. In their last 11 UCL outings, Sporting have kept only one clean sheet but have managed to score in each of their previous 11 away games in the Champions League.
The two sides met for the first time two weeks ago, when Borussia just edged past Sporting 2:1 away from home. A screamer from Julian Weigl and a left footed shot by Aubameyang was enough for the Black and Yellows to see the game out.
One would say that the injury crisis of Dortmund is slowly coming to an end after Raphael Guerreiro and Andre Schurrle both featured in the tie against Schalke on the weekend, meaning the duo is probably fit for the Sporting clash. Sven Bender has completed his in-development training it seems and will soon be available on the pitch. As for fellow defenders, Neven Subotic and Erik Durm, they are still in-development training while Marcel Schmelzer remains a doubt for the clash.
Marco Reus’ return to full fitness would take “weeks, at least weeks”- said Thomas Tuchel a week ago over the possible return of the 27-year old, who is still out with an injury.
For Sporting, there won’t be much injury issues for Coach Jorge Jesus apart from left back Jefferson and defensive midfielder Bruno Paulista. Also, Lukas Spalvis remains a long-term absentee, as he is ruled for the rest of the year due to his knee operation.
Borussia Dortmund: (4-1-4-1 formation) Roman Bürki; Lukasz Piszczek, Sokratis, Marc Bartra, Felix Passlack; Julian Weigl; Ousmane, Gonzalo Castro, Mario Götze, Raphael Guerreiro; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Sporting CP: (4-4-2 formation) Rui Patricio; Ezequiel Schelotto, Sebastian Coates, Ruben Semedo, Marvin Zeegelar; Bryan Ruiz, William Carvalho, Elias, Gelson Martins; Bas Dost, Andre