APOEL Nicosia and Borussia Dortmund go head-to-head for the first time ever tonight in the UEFA Champions League, at the GSP Stadium.
Both APOEL and Borussia have no points to their name in this group. Both sides will be desperate to get a victory as a loss tonight will put them in an extremely difficult position and make it almost impossible for them to progress for the knockout stages or even the Europa League.
Both sides have lost to Tottenham Hotspur with a 3-1 scoreline and Real Madrid with a 3-0 margin. In their respective domestic leagues however, Dortmund fare far better as they are at the top of the Bundesliga and only suffered their first league defeat of the season a few days ago. APOEL on the other hand, are currently 4th in the Cypriot first division. They do however, have 2 games in hand.
Team News & Tactics
George Donis is only expected to miss out on the services of Georgios Efrem for this tie. The starting eleven isn’t expected to be too different than the one that started in their 2-0 victory against Dorias Katokopias, and around 4 changes are expected in that squad.
Roberto Lago will likely come in at right-back for Nektarios Alexandrou, while Vinicius may replace the Portuguese Nuno Morais in midfield. Efstathios Aloneftis and Ghayas Zahid are expected to retain their places in the squad, but Lucas Souza is expected to make way for Lorenzo Ebecilio and Mickael Pote for Igor de Camargo.
Probable Starting XI(4-2-3-1): Boy Waterman; Praxitelis Vouros, Carlao, Jesus Rueda, Roberto Lago; Vinicius, Agustin Farias; Ghayas Zahid, Lorenzo Ebecilio, Efstathios Aloneftis; Igor de Camargo
Peter Bosz will unfortunately have to do without a number of players for this tie. Lukasz Piszczek, Marco Reus, Raphael Guerreiro, Andre Schürrle, Sebastian Rode and Erik Durm. They will however, be boosted by the return of Marcel Schmelzer to the squad.
There will likely be a few changes to the squad that started in their loss in the weekend against RB Leipzig. marcel Schmelzer will probably slot in at left-back, while Julian Weigl and Mahmoud Dahoud should come in place of Nuri Sahin and Gonzalo Castro in midfield.
Christian Pulisic should start on the right ahead of Maximilian Philipp, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Andrey Yarmolenko will retain their places in the starting XI.
Probable Starting XI(4-3-3): Roman Burki; Jeremy Toljan, Marc Bartra, Sokratis, Marcel Schmelzer; Mario Gotze, Julian Weigl, Mahmoud Dahoud; Andriy Yarmolenko; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Christian Pulisic
- APOEL Nicosia have lost all 6 of their previous home games against German teams.
- Borussia Dortmund are currently on a 4-match losing streak in the UEFA Champions League.
- APOEL Nicosia have only suffered 2 defeats in their past 12 home games in European comeptition.
- Borussia Dortmund have conceded 3 goals in their previous 4 UEFA Champions League matches.
- APOEL Nicosia have failed to score a single goal in their last 3 UEFA Champions League matches.
APOEL Nicosia 0-2 Borussia Dortmund
We predict an easy victory for the German giants, despite the long injury list. Peter Bosz’s side may have been on the receiving end of hard defeats in their previous 2 games in the competition, but it is highly unlikely that they will be troubled to that extent by the group’s most inexperienced side.