It doesn’t look good for Borussia Dortmund. But there are reasons to believe last year’s runners-up still has a shot at the title.
Sure it doesn’t look good for Arsenal’s Champions League rival Borussia Dortmund ahead of hosting SSC Napoli in tonight’s group F showdown. But there are reasons to believe last year’s runners-up isn't down and out just yet.
Dortmund’s manager Jurgen Klopp has problems compensating injuries notably in defence with internationals Mats Hummels, Marcel Schmelzer, and Neven Subotic being sidelined.
However sometimes criticised defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos did well against Bayern Munich and some longtime absentees are back to reinforce the defence. Jakub Blaszczykowski and 33-year-old captain Sebastian Kehl will bring much needed experience. The so called machine Lukasz Piszczek won’t likely play tonight but he is on track to be on the pitch soon.
Dortmund have lost three in row, their first losing streak since early 2010, but their performance against last year’s treble winner Bayern Munich in last Saturday’s Bundesliga clash was impressive recognising their injuries until the final half an hour.
German journalist Peter Heß of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung thought that both teams played equally sharp. He praised Klopp by saying:
“That the BVB, plagued by injuries, however was able to compensate for a long time the individual class of [Munich’s] players, […] was due to the strategic skill of its trainer.”
He is right. Until Munich’s first goal in the 66th minute of the game, Dortmund’s all new defence played great thanks to Klopp's coaching. There is no reason why they shouldn't be able to step it up tonight.
With the help of Jurgen Klopp’s tactical genius and with the surprisingly solid defence Borussia Dortmund will secure a win tonight.
image: © Dirk_Vorderstraße