With just one point from their opening three UEFA Champions League group games, Borussia Dortmund know they cannot afford to slip up at home to APOEL Nicosia on Wednesday (kick-off: 20:45 CET/19:45 GMT).
Defeat for Peter Bosz’s side could end their hopes of reaching the last 16 of the competition, but the Dutchman will be able to call upon Ömer Toprak for the crucial clash against the Cypriot outfit. The Turkey international, who has missed Borussia’s last two league games with a thigh injury, is likely to partner Sokratis Papastathopoulos in central defence, while Raphael Guerreiro could start at left-back after making his comeback from injury in the 4-2 defeat at Hannover on Saturday.
APOEL’s first-choice goalkeeper Boy Waterman misses out after suffering a shoulder injury in the 1-1 draw with BVB in Cyprus earlier this month. Full-backs Roberto Lago and Praxitelis Vouros are facing a race against time to be fit for the match at the SIGNAL IDUNA PARK, which comes too soon for Brazilian central defender Carlao and Argentinian playmaker Facundo Bertoglio.
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Dortmund: Bürki – Bartra, Sokratis, Toprak, Guerreiro – Götze, Weigl, Kagawa – Yarmolenko, Aubameyang, Philipp
Coach: Peter Bosz
Absentees: Durm (hip), Piszczek (knee), Reus (fitness), Rode (pubic bone)
APOEL: Gudino – Milanov, Merkis, Jesus Rueda, Alexandrou – Vinicius, Nuno Morais – Zahid, Sallai, Aloneftis – Pote
Coach: Giorgos Donis
Absentees: Waterman (shoulder), Carlao (leg), Bertoglio (fitness)
- The 1-1 draw between the two teams on 17 October was Dortmund’s first ever encounter against Cypriot opposition.
- Bosz’s troops trail joint Group H leaders Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid by six points with three games remaining.
- Dan-Axel Zagadou scored the first goal of his professional career in BVB’s defeat to Hannover, but was later sent off.
- Borussia were knocked off top spot in the Bundesliga for the first time this season on Matchday 10.
- Dortmund have now failed to win three consecutive league encounters for the first time since December 2016.
- Raul Gudino became the first Mexican goalkeeper to feature in the Champions League when he replaced Waterman in the teams’ 1-1 draw a fortnight ago.