Manuel Veth –
Dortmund vs Slavia Prague – Tuesday, December 10, 20:00GMT/21:00CET – SIGNAL IDUNA Park, Dortmund, Germany
Dortmund are back on track. The Black and Yellows picked up back-to-back Bundesliga wins (2-1 against Hertha and 5-0 against Fortuna Düsseldorf). Saturday’s performance against Fortuna was, in particular, impressive and thanks to Borussia Mönchengladbach’s 2-1 win over Bayern, Dortmund are now ahead of their closest rivals in the Bundesliga standings.
At the same time, much work remains to be done. Dortmund’s rough patch in November with defeats to Bayern in the Klassiker and a 3-3 draw means the Black and Yellows are five points behind league leaders, Gladbach.
During that rough patch they also lost 3-1 to Barcelona. That result sabotaged Dortmund’s favourable position in the Champions League.
The Black and Yellows beat Inter Milan on matchday 4 3-2 but lost the away game 2-0. The two teams are going into the final matchday even on points. As a result. Dortmund must pick up more points than Inter—who are at home to Barcelona on Matchday 6 —to finish second.
On one hand, Dortmund no longer have it in their own hands. But on the other hand, the theory is simple, beat Slavia Prague and hope that Inter Milan drop at least two points on the road in Barcelona. Not an impossible scenario either way.
“It’s always great to win big,” Marco Reus said after the game against Düsseldorf. “We need to continue these performances in the coming games. The focus is now on Prague.”
For Prague, the European campaign is over. The Czechs have two points and will finish fourth no matter the result on Tuesday. That does not mean Dortmund should take a win for granted. Slavia are unbeaten in their away games, drawing both Inter (1-1) and Barcelona (0-0) on the road.
Dortmund, therefore, should take the opponent seriously. But on paper the Black and Yellows should collect all three points, the rest will be up to Barcelona.
Dortmund vs Slavia Prague – Players to look out for:
Marco Reus #11 – Borussia Dortmund
The attacking midfielder was on fire against Fortuna Düsseldorf on Saturday. Reus scored twice and assisted once in Dortmund’s 5-0 win. The forward has been criticised by fans and media alike in recent weeks. “It doesn’t me touch me if I am honest,” Reus said. “I know I wasn’t good enough. If I can help the team with goals and assists then that is good.” Reus’ goals and assists have always been crucial to Dortmund, the same will be true on Tuesday against Slavia.
Tomas Soucek #22 – Slavia Prague
Tomas Soucek is Slavia Prague’s key player. Linked to Köln and Werder Bremen this last summer the 25-time Czech national team player opted to renew his contract at Slavia instead. Still only 24, Sloucek has been a dangerous player for Slavia despite playing a supporting role. The midfielder has scored 11 goals and three assists in 24 games this season.
Dortmund vs Slavia Prague – Match Stats
- Dortmund have won only three of their last ten UEFA Champions League matches (D2 L5), including two this season: the success at Slavia on Matchday 2 and a 3-2 home defeat of Inter in the fourth round of fixtures.
- Despite two victories in their own stadium in the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League, Dortmund have now won only four of their last 12 European home matches (D3 L5).
- Dortmund are unbeaten in their last nine matches against Czech clubs, home and away (W6 D3), since a 3-1 home loss against Dukla Praha in the 1963/64 European Champion Clubs’ Cup quarter-final.
- Slavia have lost five of their six away games against German clubs, all without scoring, the exception a 2-1 win at Freiburg in the 1995/96 UEFA Cup first round first leg.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Dortmund vs Slavia Prague – 2-0
Dortmund vs Slavia Prague – Lineups
Bürki – Akanji, Hummels, Zagadou – Guerreiro, Brandt, Weigl, Hakimi – Sancho, Reus, Hazard
Head Coach: Lucien Favre
Kolar – Boril, Kudela, Takacs, Coufal – Sevcik, Soucek, Traoré – Stanciu – Skoda, Olayinka
Head Coach: Jindřich Trpišovský
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others, contributes to Forbes.com and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently splits his time between Victoria, BC, and Munich, Germany. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.