Doomed to win: The Champions League schedule puts Borussia Dortmund under pressure to succeed early on. After all, the Bundesliga runners-up will meet FC Copenhagen at home in the first group game and thus the supposedly easiest opponent.
That's why sports director Sebastian Kehl gave the direction before the duel with the Danish champions on September 6th (6.45 p.m. / Amazon Prime Video): "If we want to get through the group stage, we should win the game at the start. After that we're two Away games at Manchester City and Sevilla FC are under real pressure."
Points against Copenhagen are firmly planned
In view of the tricky tasks for the title aspirant from England (September 14) for the former BVB professionals Erling Haaland, Ilkay Gündogan and Manuel Akanji and for the former UEFA Cup series winner from Spain (October 5), the points against Copenhagen are firmly planned. "We're favorites against FC Copenhagen and should get two wins," commented newcomer Salih Özcan in the "Ruhr Nachrichten".
An early exit like last season, when BVB failed in a rather easy group at Ajax Amsterdam and Sporting Lisbon, should be avoided at all costs. Coach Edin Terzic is optimistic that Borussia will polish up the recently scratched image in Europe: "We definitely want to do better. I think we're showing a much better face."
"We are on the right track"
To the football teacher's delight, his team seems to be back on track in time for the start of the premier class. Two narrow but well-deserved 1-0 wins at Hertha BSC and Hoffenheim dispelled the frustration over the historic last-minute blackout against Bremen (2-3). "We're on the right track to becoming a really good team," said Terzic last weekend. Captain Marco Reus sees it similarly: "It's important for us that we continue where we left off in the last two games."
Standing places are allowed again for the first time
The south stand could contribute to the hoped-for victory over the Danes. For the first time since the late 1990s, standing room is allowed again in Champions League games. Therefore, the south stand does not have to be seated. This increases the stadium's spectator capacity to Bundesliga level of over 80,000. "It makes a clear difference. We are all very happy that the whole Yellow Wall is there. Hopefully it will be a spectacle," enthused Reus.
Regardless of the larger support, the task against Copenhagen seems solvable. Despite all the pride about participating in the Champions League for the first time in six years, the good mood among the Danes has recently suffered. After four defeats in the first eight games, coach Jess Thorup's team is already falling seriously behind in the fight to successfully defend their title in sixth place.
The dress rehearsal for the game in Dortmund went rather poorly despite a 1-0 win over Silkeborg. "It wasn't all perfect, but the most important thing was the three points that give us self-confidence and conviction," former KFC Uerdingen professional Thorup was quoted as saying by "Kicker" (Monday).
The expected lineups:
Borussia Dortmund: Kobel - Meunier, Hummels, Schlotterbeck, Guerreiro - Bellingham, Özcan - Brandt, Reus, Hazard - Modeste
FC Copenhagen: Ryan - Diks, Khocholava, Vavro, Kristiansen - Zeca, Falk - Haraldsson, Claesson, Daramy - Cornelius
Referee: François Letexier (France)