The Champions League is set to get underway for this new season as top teams around Europe saddle up for another exciting campaign in Europe’s top club competitions. There will be a host of enticing fixtures on Matchday 1 but very few will live up to the quality of the Tottenham Hotspur vs Borussia Dortmund fixture.
Even though the German giants are termed as favourites ahead of the encounter, Mauricio Pochettino’s men are a confident bunch after a convincing 2:0 win over Everton this weekend. Dortmund didn’t manage to unlock the Freiburg defence, despite the opposition being decimated to 10 men within half an hour.
Here’s the predicted 4-3-3 Borussia Dortmund lineup to feature against the Lilywhites on Wednesday.
Goalkeeper: Roman Burki has kept three clean sheets in the opening three games this season. He becomes the second goalkeeper to achieve that feat in the club’s history after the 2001-02 season. However, the challenge will, no doubt, be much tougher against the sharp attacking Spurs side.
Right Back: Lukasz Piszczek will feature on as the right back for Dortmund. The Polish International was hardly effective in their disappointing draw against Freiburg. The onus will be on the veteran defender to stop the marauding runs from Spurs’ full-backs.
Center Back(R): Sokratis Papastathopoulos passed a ball, an astonishingly 151 times against Freiburg on the weekend, which was just 36 passes less than what the entire opposition managed throughout the game. His passing will need to be more precise and his defending needs to solid if they are to put an end to Harry Kane’s scoring run.
Center Back(L): The weekend game against Freiburg was a complete disaster for BVB in every sense. Not only did they miss out the chance to go three points ahead of Bayern but also lost two valuable players through injury – Marcel Schmelzer and Marc Bartra. Even though Bartra’s comeback is expected to be swift, he will not take part in the midweek fixture. New signing Omer Toprak will deputize the former Barcelona defender, in central defence.
Left Back: Opting for the correct left back option would be no short of a dilemma for Peter Bosz. Marcel Schmelzer won’t be back until six weeks, and while Dan-Axel Zagadou has been in great form in the early season, he is far too inexperienced to start against Tottenham, meaning Jeremy Toljan, ironically a top Spurs target in the summer, might make his debut for Dortmund in midweek.
Central Defensive Midfielder: Nuri Sahin wasn’t as effective as fans were hoping for, in the game against Freiburg, However, the midfielder is expected to start ahead of Julian Weigl, who, despite being fit enough to play, will not be risked against the high octane Spurs.
Central Midfielder(R): Gonzalo Castro will the primary choice for coach Peter Bosz as the central midfielder. The ex-Leverkusen player has so far convinced his new manager with some great performances and most of all, acting as the transitional player for the team very well. He will be an important figure for Dortmund in midfield.
Central Midfielder(L): The midfield pair is also set to remain unchanged as Mario Gotze will partner alongside Castro in the middle third of the pitch. Gotze has gelled pretty well with his teammates and his recurrence of form only bodes well for coach Peter Bosz and of course, the Dortmund faithfuls.
Right Wing: Christian Pulisic will have some work to cut out, as he was totally ineffective against a sturdy Freiburg defense. However, we can expect the American to flourish against Spurs’ because of their lack of defensive leverage at the back. His partnership with Piszczek in the right flank could be potent for the Black and Yellows.
Left Wing: Peter Bosz might just be forced to start new signing Andriy Yarmolenko after signing him for a huge fee of 25m this summer. Yarmolenko himself is in a fiery form after scoring two goals against Turkey during the International break. Maximilian Philipp could also be a good option for the Dutchman.
Striker: Expect none other than Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to lead the line for Dortmund. The Gabonese International created a lot of problems for the Spurs backline when these two teams last met in the Europea League two seasons ago. And to make things worse for English outfit, he has only gone better and better from then.