Borussia Dortmund made a fantastic Champions League run last year that ended in a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Bundesliga rivals, Bayern Munich.
This year, Dortmund find themselves in third place in the group of death and a game away from a possible early exit. This week’s game against Napoli, a side that won the first leg 2-1, could either see them hang on to a shred of hope or see the dream of a repeat dashed in the group stage.
Dortmund started the Bundesliga season off very well but has since seen a drop in form, and with it three losses in their last six games. Their Champions League campaign has seen the same ups and downs that has led to only two wins and two losses.
Group leaders Arsenal and Napoli both have nine points apiece, while Dortmund have six; Marseille, sitting in last, have none. Arsenal’s upcoming game against Marseille should see the Gunners walk away with all three points. This would leave a battle for second place and the right to play in the knockout stages.
Dortmund will be firing on all cylinders after the embarrassing loss they were handed last weekend. To Napoli’s credit, they will not be lying down either. The Italian side can field a very dangerous lineup, spearheaded by former Real Madrid forwards Gonzalo Higuain and Jose Callejon.
Jurgen Klopp will need to get the most out of his key players for any chance of success. Robert Lewandowski, Marco Reus and Henrik Mkhitaryan must produce chances in the final third, while Ilkay Gundogan will play a key role in bossing the midfield, a place that will be hotly contested all game.
This is shaping up be one of this week’s best and most important games. One team will move on to the knockout rounds, while the other will be relegated to the Europa League. It all comes down to who wants it more, but Dortmund definitely have the talent to get the job done.
Fun Fact: Napoli has the same exact league record – nine wins, one draw, three losses and 28 points — as Dortmund, just in the Serie A.