Benfica vs Borussia Dortmund – Tuesday 19:45 GMT/20:45 CET Estádio da Luz – Lisbon.
The UEFA Champions League round of 16 will kick off Tuesday with Benfica vs Borussia Dortmund. Dortmund have been one of the most prolific teams in the group stage scoring 21 goals in six group stage games setting a new goal scoring record for the group stage of the competition.
Borussia Dortmund youthful squad has shown inconsistency at times during the Bundesliga season. Head coach Thomas Tuchel has assembled a squad of youthful talent that includes the likes of Ousmane Dembélé, Julian Weigl, Christian Pulisic, Emre Mor, and Raphaël Guerreiro. The young guns have been exciting to watch, but the young guns have at times struggled to consistently display their endless talent.
But where Dortmund struggled in the Bundesliga die Schwarzgelben were solid in the Champions League finishing the group stage in first place ahead of Real Madrid, Legia Warsaw, and Sporting. It does indeed seem that Thomas Tuchel gets the best out of his young squad in the Champions League, which makes Dortmunds firm favourites in the round of 16, and was even named by some as one of the candidates to win the competition.
Benfica in the meantime finished second in Group B behind Napoli, and ahead of Beşiktaş, and Dynamo Kyiv. Benfica advanced on matchday 6 to the next round despite losing 2-1 to Napoli thanks to Dynamo Kyiv demolishing Beşiktaş 6-0. Benfica had the fewest points of any group surviving the group stage, and will therefore considered a strong outsider in the round of 16 matchup against Borussia Dortmund.
Benfica vs Borussia Dortmund – Player to look out for:
With the talent on display at Borussia Dortmund it is hard to pick out one player in particular to pick out. Any of the young guns in the likes of Dembélé, Pulisic, and Guerreiro are worth keeping an eye on. But Dortmund’s most important player is Marco Reus, who can be the difference maker on any given night.
Benfica has several talented players on display as well. Brazilian forward Jonas is a prolific striker, and Dortmund will have to guard him well throughout the game in Lisbon. Another player to watch out is 20-year-old Serbian attacking midfielder Andrija Živković, who has finally established himself in Benfica’s first team after a difficult year with his former club Partizan Belgrade. Finally there is the talented Nelson Semedo, who has recently been linked to Bayern München as a possible replacement to Philipp Lahm, who is going to retire at the end of the season.
Benfica vs Borussia Dortmund – Match Stats
- André Schürrle struck twice against Júlio César in Germany’s 7-1 win over Brazil in the semi-finals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
- In that same tournament Schürrle, as a substitute, appeared alongside Mario Götze in a 4-0 group stage thrashing of a Portugal outfit including substitute André Almeida.
- Dortmund had never won in Portugal until 2016 but are now chasing a third victory there in the last 12 months having already scalped Porto in last season’s UEFA Europa League round of 16 (1-0) and Sporting in the group stage this season.
- Dortmund prevailed when the clubs met in the European Champion Clubs’ Cup first round in 1963-64.
- Overall Thomas Tuchel’s team have lost just two of eleven European away fixtures played since the start of last season (W7 D2 L2).
- Pizzi and Andreas Samaris are a booking away from a ban; Andrija Živković is serving a one-game suspension.
- Raphaël Guerreiro is one booking away from being suspended.
Prediction: Benfica vs Borussia Dortmund 0-2
Ederson – Grimaldo, Lindelöf, Luisão, Nelson Semedo – Cervi, Pizzi, Fejsa, Salvio – Mitroglou, Jonas
Manager: Rui Vitória
Bürki – Schmelzer, Bartra, Sokratis, Piszczek – Guerreiro, Weigl, Götze – Reus, Aubameyang, Dembélé
Manager: Thomas Tuchel