• Analysis

Match Preview: Borussia Dortmund vs Barcelona

Borussia Dortmund
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Borussia Dortmund will welcome Barcelona to the Signal Iduna Park in the derby game of the Champions League opening night.

Dortmund and Barcelona will meet each other in the Champions League for the first time in history, as they go head to head in this year’s ‘Group of Death’ tomorrow evening.

Both sides head into the UCL opener after impressive performances in their domestic championships over the past weekend.

Borussia Dortmund thrashed Bayer Leverkusen 4-0 at the Westfalenstadion (also known as the Signal Iduna Park due to image rights), while Barcelona put five past Valencia, beating Los Ches 5-2 at Camp Nou.

This will be Barcelona’s first European game since the embarrassing 4-0 defeat at Liverpool in last season’s semi-finals.

Team news

Axel Witsel and Manuel Akanji came through the clash with Leverkusen, meaning they are 100 percent ready to face Barcelona in the Champions League midweek.

Nico Schulz is under question for the home side, while Thorgan Hazard and Julian Weigl are both pushing for spots in the starting XI, although the pair might have to make do with positions on the bench.

Lionel Messi has finally been cleared to make his first appearance in the 2019-20 campaign, although he might not be included in the starting line up due to match fitness.

French defender Umtiti and former Borussia Dortmund winger – Ousmane Dembele are out, with 16-year old Anssumane Fati expected to make his Champions League debut, after netting in the last two games for the Catalans.

Talk to the press

Borussia Dortmund star forward, Paco Alcacer who has scored 10 goals in eight matches for club and country this season will face his former employees for the first time since leaving Camp Nou.

After the Leverkusen game, Paco was asked if he is going to celebrate if he scores against Barcelona on Tuesday night.

“I’ll decide at the moment,” Alcacer told SER Catalunya. “I have respect for many people there. Many people behaved very well with me.

“But many people behaved very badly. My team-mates and the fans treated me well. As in any job, if people trust you, you give your best.

“And if they don’t trust you, you don’t give it. It’s very important for me to see those signs of trust. And in the end, many people did not show it.”

Stats

Both sides met each other in the UEFA Super Cup in 1998, as Barcelona won the trophy with a 3-1 win on aggregate.

Borussia Dortmund didn’t concede a goal at home in the group stage last season – they won 4-0 vs Atletico Madrid, 3-0 vs Monaco and played a 0-0 draw vs Club Brugge.

The defeat at Liverpool ended Barcelona’s run of eleven unbeaten UEFA Champions League games (eight wins, three draws).

The Black and Yellows have registered seven wins and one defeat (4-2 to Schalke) in their eight home games since the 1-0 defeat to Tottenham in the UCL last season.

Barcelona failed to win each one of their last five games on the road. They’ve won only two of their last nine away games across all competitions.