Borussia Dortmund clash with AFC Ajax tomorrow at Signal Iduna Park in the UEFA Champions League (UCL) group stage. Ajax completely dominated their first bout two weeks ago by winning 4-0. Can the Germans get the much sought after revenge by beating their Dutch opponents?
The sides entered their last game with 100% records and the fans expected a close battle for the first place in Group C. What they got, was Dortmund’s humiliation, with Ajax scoring on four different occasions.
Dortmund’s defence was shambles and if there is one thing Marco Rose needs to focus on ahead of tomorrow’s game, it is putting it back in order. Some could say he already did, considering Dortmund won all of their competitive battles in Bundesliga and DFB Pokal since having conceded only one a single goal, but the fact is, the Black and Yellows only faced much weaker teams. Going up against Ajax again will be the real test.
After beating Dortmund in the UCL, Ajax went up against Eredivisie’s second-best team (two points behind Ajax who are at the top), PSV, and they embarrassed them just as much as Dortmund, winning 5-0. They were unable to connect in their last match against Heracles, despite of being in absolute control of the game, but that seems like only a tiny speck of dust on an otherwise excellent season.
Borussia’s main issue at the moment is their injury list which seems to be getting longer every day. Their Norwegian star striker Haaland remains out, and the same can be said about Raphael Guerreiro, Nico Schulz, and Metu Morey. Zagadou, Reyna, Dahoud, and Schmelzer are all doubts, as is Emre Can.
Ajax are not at their best either, missing both Stekelenburg and Onana in their net, and Sean Klaiber in their defence. Morrocans Labyad and Mazraoui are uncertain because of recent illnesses.
If there is a player to keep an eye on, it has to be Ajax striker Haller. So far he scored six goals and assisted on two more in the UCL, and that is after making just three appearances!
We don’t think the weakened Dortmund will be able to keep him at bay, and we expect another Ajax win.