Gregor Kobel celebrates during Borussia Dortmund's 3-1 victory over AC Milan. - © IMAGO
Gregor Kobel celebrates during Borussia Dortmund's 3-1 victory over AC Milan. - © IMAGO

5 reasons Borussia Dortmund will beat PSG in the Champions League


Borussia Dortmund face Paris Saint-Germain on the final UEFA Champions League Group F matchday, and their strong home form in this competition as well as a lack of pressure are just two reasons why they can beat the French outfit...

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1) Taking the group by storm

Dortmund may be struggling to keep up with the Bundesliga pace-setters so far this term, but they have looked like a different team in the Champions League. After five games, they are top of their group with 10 points, a return which has already secured their progression to the knockout stages, and anything other than a defeat upon PSG’s visit will see them go through in top spot.

Their campaign started off with a disappointing 2-0 loss at the Parc des Princes, but they have been close to imperious since then, following up that defeat with a respectable 0-0 draw at AC Milan before beating Newcastle United home and away in back-to-back encounters. Last time out, Die Schwarzgelben prevailed 3-1 against the Rossoneri, who edged out PSG themselves 2-1 during Matchday 4, to make it three Champions League victories on the bounce.

This was labelled as the group of death, but BVB have held their nerve and shown they can compete against the best. The clash with the reigning Ligue 1 champions gives them the opportunity to cap things off in style.

2) No pressure

For Dortmund, the hard work has already been completed - they deserve credit for securing qualification with a game to spare. In the modern game, it is rare to come across fixtures with little riding on them and, while Dortmund will be eager to guarantee first place, they come into this match-up with the pressure off, allowing them to enjoy themselves and play with freedom.

Almost everything has gone Borussia Dortmund's way in the Champions League this term. - IMAGO/Anke Waelischmiller/Sven Simon

PSG, meanwhile, will be knocked out if they fail to pick up all three points and Newcastle edge out Milan at St. James’ Park. The onus, therefore, is on the visitors to perform and take the game to Dortmund, which could also play into the latter’s hands. It will be interesting to see how they shoulder that burden, especially considering their relatively poor results in Europe’s premier club tournament despite their lofty ambitions.

3) Strong at home

Formidable home form is key to any success in continental competition, and the Signal Iduna Park has been a fortress for Dortmund in recent years. They are unbeaten in both of their European fixtures so far this term, keeping clean sheets along the way, and have lost just twice on home soil in their previous 18 games at this level. That run includes a 2-1 victory over Wednesday's opponents in the first leg of their 2019/20 round of 16 tie, with Erling Haaland scoring the winner courtesy of a fierce strike from outside the area.

Watch: The Borussia Dortmund stadium experience

Barcelona, Inter Milan, Manchester City and Chelsea are amongst the sides to visit this part of the Ruhr and leave without all three points, with Dortmund shipping just four goals in nine Champions League matches at home - they have picked up an impressive seven clean sheets along the way. Their performances in familiar surroundings appear to go up a notch, and that may well give them a mental advantage over Les Parisiens before kick-off.

4) Kolo no-goal Muani

Granted, we were fortunate enough to see in the Bundesliga last season just what a phenomenal attacker Randal Kolo Muani is. Dortmund's defenders have a healthy knack of keeping PSG's recent signing in check, however. The Frenchman failed to find the scoresheet entirely in his two encounters with Dortmund while at Eintracht Frankfurt, which BVB won 2-1 and 4-0 and, although he started the victory over Edin Terzić’s men in September, he was once again unable to find the back of the net.

Randal Kolo Muani failed to score for Eintracht Frankfurt in two appearances against Borussia Dortmund in the 2022/23 Bundesliga season. - Lars Baron/Getty Images

Clearly Dortmund's defence is going to have its hands full in Paris regardless, with a certain Kylian Mbappé and ex-Dortmund ace Ousmane Dembélé to try to keep quiet. Luis Enrique does have numerous attacking options at his disposal, but should Kolo Muani be given the nod – as he was last time out in the 1-1 draw with Newcastle – the 1997 Champions League winners will be confident of keeping him quiet.

5) Kobel to the rescue?

PSG have already found the back of the net on 38 occasions amongst the French elite this season, while the often irresistible Mbappé has struck 18 times in as many games this campaign in all competitions. Keeping the 2018 World Cup winner and his expensively-acquired teammates quiet will be a challenge for Dortmund’s backline but, even if it is breached, they can be comfortable in the knowledge that Gregor Kobel is their last line of defence.

Watch: The best of Kobel

Already this season, he has repeatedly proven his worth, even saving penalties against Stuttgart in the Bundesliga and Milan in the recent triumph. His display at Newcastle – a game Dortmund won 1-0 – was arguably the difference between a victory and a share of the spoils, and he continues to pop up with crucial saves on a regular basis. Of course, he will be eager for his teammates to sort out any issues before he is called upon, but there have been few more reliable shot-stoppers domestically or across Europe this year.