Borussia Dortmund will take on AC Milan at Signal Iduna Park in the Champions League on Wednesday evening.
Group F is the group of death as PSG, Dortmund, Milan and Newcastle United have been drawn into this group. Two of the four teams will qualify for the knockout stage so every game is extremely important for each team in order to place themselves on the right track to get past the group stage.
BVB endured a disappointing 2-0 defeat against PSG in the opening fixture of this competition so they can’t afford to think of anything other than victory from this encounter.
On the other hand, despite playing extremely well in the first game against Newcastle, Milan’s lack of efficiency in front of the goal helped the Magpies to come away with a point from the San Siro Stadium.
So, this is an extremely important fixture for both Dortmund and Milan and neither team can afford to lose this encounter. Therefore, it is going to be an exciting game for the football fans.
Dortmund started the league campaign disappointingly as they only managed to win half of their first four games in the Bundesliga. However, following the defeat versus PSG, BVB have bounced back brilliantly by winning back-to-back games and are currently only two points behind the league leaders Bayer Leverkusen.
Therefore, Edin Terzic’s side are currently full of confidence ahead of this encounter and they will be backing themselves to earn all three points from this fixture by utilising the home advantage.
After a busy summer window, Milan started the season as one of the favourites to challenge for the Serie A title this term and they have showcased the exact signs of that in the first few games.
The Rossoneri have won six of the first seven games in the league and have managed to accumulate the same number of points as the league leaders Inter Milan.
But, the heavy 5-1 defeat in the derby against the Nerazzurri has already left a dent in Milan’s season, though they have managed to bounce back from that defeat by remaining undefeated since then.
However, Milan might regret not winning their opening fixture against Newcastle despite creating numerous chances if they eventually fail to qualify for the knockout stage by a narrow margin.
Nevertheless, Milan have had a solid start to this season and they have the resources to beat BVB away from home in this fixture.
This is the first meeting between these two sides since facing off against each other back in 2002/03 in the group stage. In that campaign, the away team came away victorious on both occasions.
How to watch
The game is scheduled to take place at 8 pm UK time and the match will be telecasted live on TNT Sports. If you want to attend the game in person, you can still buy Borussia Dortmund tickets but hurry as the match is likely to be a sell-out.
Dortmund doesn’t have many injury issues at the moment, but fullback duo Mateu Morey and Thomas Meunier will not be available for selection due to injury issues. New summer signing, Marcel Sabitzer is also set to remain sidelined owing to an injury.
Ramy Bensebaini picked up a red card last weekend so he is set to serve a domestic ban. But, the Algerian is available to feature in European action so he is available for selection in this encounter.
As for Milan, new signing Ruben Loftus-Cheek is set to remain sidelined for a few weeks after sustaining an abdominal injury in the last game against Lazio. So, he isn’t in contention to feature in this encounter.
Ismael Bennacer and Rade Krunic are also not available for selection in this fixture due to injury issues so Stefano Pioli is set to field a new-look midfield in this crucial game.
Mattia Caldara and Pierre Kalulu aren’t likely to be involved due to injury problems. So, Milan have had a few injury absentees ahead of this encounter.
Terzic uses his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation and he is unlikely to change that versus Milan. Gregor Kobel is set to be in goal for Dortmund, while Julian Ryerson, Matt Hummels, Nico Schlotterbeck and Bensebaini should be the back four.
Emre Can and Salih Ozcan should be the double midfield pivot, while Marco Reus could start in the number ten position. Terzic could start Julian Brandt and Donyell Malen on the flanks, deploying Niclas Fullkrug through the centre-forward position.
Dortmund’s expected starting eleven vs Milan
Kobel; Ryerson, Hummels, Schlotterbeck, Bensebaini; Can, Ozcan; Brandt, Reus, Malen; Fullkrug
As for Milan, Pioli likes to deploy the 4-2-3-1 system, but due to the lack of a specialist attacking midfielder, the Rossoneri boss has been using the 4-3-3 system this season.
Mike Maignan is set to be between the sticks for Milan and Davide Calabria, Malick Thiew, Fikayo Tomori and Theo Hernandez are likely to be the back four.
Tijjani Reijnders, Yunus Musah and Yacin Adli could commence in midfield, while Rafael Leao, Olivier Giroud and Christian Pulisic should be the front three for the Rossoneri.
Expected Milan line-up against Dortmund
Maignan; Calabria, Thiew, Tomori, Hernández; Reijnders, Musah, Adli; Leao, Giroud, Pulisic
Reus and Malen are the two main attacking options for Dortmund and the onus will be on them to create chances for fellow attackers and also finish off opportunities.
Fullkrug hasn’t had a great start after joining Dortmund this summer but their fans will be hoping that he will be able to put himself on the scoresheet in this game and help his side win.
Hummels is the mainstay of Dortmund’s backline and the responsibility will be on him to keep a clean-sheet.
As for Milan, Leao is the talismanic figure for the Rossoneri. He is the main outlet for creating opportunities and finishing off chances if he gets any.
Giroud is the top scorer for Milan and the Milan fans will be hoping that the Frenchman will be able to help his side earn all three points from this encounter by putting his name on the scoresheet.
Pulisic has started the season well for Milan after joining them this summer from Chelsea and he has added an extra dimension to the Rossoneri’s frontline.
Hernandez is an exceptional player and he has the capability of helping his side win games single-handedly. So, Dortmund need to be wary of his threat.
Dortmund will be looking to hurt Milan by their high-pressing translational system. On the other hand, Pioli’s side will be trying to play their way out of the German side’s pressing.
Both sides have resources to win the game and it is likely that both teams will nullify each other’s threat and the game will eventually finish in a draw. Dortmund 2-2 Milan
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