The UEFA Champions League's top scorer Erling Haaland (r.) is just one of the reasons Manchester City should still fear Borussia Dortmund. - © PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images
The UEFA Champions League's top scorer Erling Haaland (r.) is just one of the reasons Manchester City should still fear Borussia Dortmund. - © PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

5 reasons Borussia Dortmund can STILL beat Man City in the UEFA Champions League

Borussia Dortmund have the attacking talent of Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho up their sleeve as they aim to beat Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. has five reasons why BVB can recover from a 2-1 first-leg deficit to knock out the runaway English Premier League leaders…

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1) You don't stop Haaland

Haaland will no doubt have had his fingers crossed to be drawn against City at some stage in the competition. The 20-year-old striker was born the summer his father Alf-Inge joined the Manchester club from Leeds United in 2000.

Don't expect any family loyalty to get in his way, though. Haaland is a goalscoring machine even John Connor wouldn't be able to stop. He has 49 goals in 50 Dortmund appearances, coming at one every 82 minutes, including 34 in 37 Bundesliga games.

Does he only do it in the league, though? Nein! Haaland is the top scorer in this season's Champions League on 10 goals - two more than the next best Kylian Mbappe - scoring in six appearances, with braces in four of them. With 20 career goals in the competition, he's reached that mark 10 games quicker than anyone else in history and is the youngest to do so, as the only 20-year-old and well over a year earlier than Mbappe managed.

Watch: Analysis of the half man, half machine    

The Norwegian also presents a double threat to City and defences in general. He's the ultimate handful when the ball comes into the box, scoring 19 of his Champions League goals from inside the penalty area - plus one absolute rocket against Paris Saint-Germain last year. However, you simply can't discount the 6'4" striker's pace.

He set a new top speed in the Bundesliga this season, hitting 22.39 mph in Saturday's 3-2 win at VfB Stuttgart, and has shown a number of times that he can get from box to box in a matter of seconds, and once he's got a run on defenders, there's no catching him. The Premier League leaders will need to decide whether to stick or twist with a high line against him - but even that plan won't keep him out of the game.

2) Sancho's return?

Sancho is another with ties to the Citizens and will again be eager to make a mark on this fixture if he recovers in time from a thigh problem for this second leg. The England international left Manchester as a 17-year-old in 2017 after realising there was little way for him to earn a chance in the first team. Now with Dortmund, he's one of the hottest wingers in world football and one game away from his 100th Bundesliga appearance.

He's a scorer and provider in equally destructive measure with 36 goals and 43 assists, of which he's got six and nine respectively this season. Such a return looked unlikely prior to the Christmas break, the Londoner having failed to score a league goal up to that point, but the 20-year-old has seen an explosion of form since the turn of the year and has struck in three straight Bundesliga appearances.

That came across a bumper February producing three goals and a pair of assists to earn him the Bundesliga's Player of the Month. And while individual accolades are one thing, it's Sancho's on- (and off-) field relationship with Haaland that is BVB's greatest weapon in attack and smashing through defences.

Watch: Analysis of Dortmund’s dream duo

The fact that six of Sancho's nine league assists have been for the big striker is only the headline stat. Dig deeper, though, and the pair complement each other to great effect. The Englishman is the most pressed player in black and yellow, attracting defenders like moths to a light as they look to stop him using his speed on the ball. That draws attention away from Haaland and creates space for him to move freely in preparation for a pass from Sancho. You think you've got one under control, but keeping them both at bay at the same time is an art few defenders have managed.

3) Quick out after the break

Dortmund will be under no illusion as to the task they face against this City defence, who have conceded the fewest goals in the Champions League in 2020/21 - just two, with Marco Reus' strike in Manchester adding to one in their first group game against Porto. However, the Sky Blues' most susceptible periods in games are also Die Schwarzgelben's most prolific.

When it comes to second halves, BVB are behind only Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig in terms of Bundesliga points, having scored over 74 percent of their goals (43/58) after the break. Of those, over half (31) have come in the periods spanning 46-60 and 76-90 minutes. It's those two 15-minute blocks where City have been most fallible and conceded over 43 percent of their goals in the league.

The quarter of an hour immediately after half-time has been the greatest weakness for Pep Guardiola's side with over 23 percent of their total against coming in that window. That is where Borussia have scored almost a quarter of their league haul, including Jude Bellingham's first Bundesliga goal at the weekend, and Reus' domestic drought-ending strike.

Watch: Haaland’s nine-minute brace against Bayern

The Bundesliga side's most profitable period is in the final sixth of the game, where they have got 16 of their 58 league goals, equating to 27.5 percent. That is when 19-year-old Ansgar Knauff opened his account at the weekend, and also when they struck in Manchester, and it is also City's worst period for conceding - something they did again in a 2-1 defeat at home to Leeds United on Saturday. That being said, also watch out for the lightning start, as Bayern found out in Der Klassiker when Haaland struck twice in the first nine minutes.

4) Narrow win will do

They may be wobbling a bit in the league this season but BVB have risen to the occasion against Sevilla, RB Leipzig, Zenit and Wolfsburg this term, proving they do have that big-game mentality. Indeed, on no fewer than 18 occasions this season, they have picked up a result which would take them through on Wednesday.

Considering the goal they scored in Manchester last week, a 1-0 win will do to take Terzic's men through to the semi-finals - and when you have the likes of Haaland, Sancho and Reus in your team, getting that all-important goal looks more likely than it is not.

Marco Reus (r.) has scored five times against Pep Guardiola’s teams, and will now come up against former Dortmund teammate Ilkay Gündogan (l.). - imago sportfotodienst/imago sportfotodienst

They have done it before against City too - back in the 2012/13 group stage when Julian Schieber's goal earned them a 1-0 win at Signal Iduna Park. Coincidentally, Reus scored in Manchester in the reverse fixture back then too.

Dortmund will be happy to be at home too, with five wins from their last seven on Champions League matches on home soil, and considering they have now scored at least once in their past 39 games in all competitions, and have Bellingham and Knauff among those to have found the back of the net this term, there is plenty of hope for the Westphalians.

5) BVB the European heavyweight

The weight of history tends to be heavy in the Champions League. There has only been one new winner of the competition this century, which was Chelsea in 2012. The last first-time winner before them was Dortmund in 1997, defeating defending champions Juventus 3-1 in Munich.

BVB have also been to a final since then, facing Bayern at Wembley in 2013. Overcoming that mental barrier of getting to the showpiece, and ultimately winning it, is massive for a club. It's one that City have, despite domestic dominance in the last decade, consistently failed to overcome.

Borussia Dortmund have a proud Champions League history, having lifted the trophy in 1997. - imago sportfotodienst/imago/Thomas Bielefeld

The Manchester club's sole European success was the 1969/70 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup against Gornik Zabrze of Poland. They reached the semi-finals again the following year, but wouldn't make the final four of a European competition again until 2015/16. It was supposed to be a watershed moment for the Citizens, but their elimination to Real Madrid is as good as it has got.

Every year since, they have been knocked out by a supposedly weaker team according to UEFA's club coefficient. In 2016/17, it was Monaco in the last 16, while the European adventure in the last three seasons has ended each time at this quarter-final stage, against Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Lyon. If Dortmund want a good omen from that, the first two both went on to reach the final…