Borussia Dortmund may be without goal machine Erling Haaland, but players like Jude Bellingham, Marco Reus, and Donyell Malen mean that there are several reasons Dortmund should make short work of Sporting Lisbon in the UEFA Champions League. bundesliga.com presents five...
1) Resurgent Reus
When Haaland suffered his hip injury, many wondered where Dortmund’s goals would come from. As any good leader should, captain Reus stepped up to meet the challenge. He scored Dortmund’s goal in their last Champions League outing, against Ajax, before making it two in two with his late winner against VfB Stuttgart on Saturday. The 32-year-old now has four goals in the league, second only to Haaland among Dortmund’s ranks. In all competitions it's six goals and seven assists, and it would not be a surprise to see him pad those numbers against Sporting.
2) Bellingham blossoming
He may only be 18 years old, but Bellingham has already proven himself worthy of his place at the heart of the Dortmund midfield. His goal against Besiktas made him the youngest player to score in two consecutive Champions League games, beating Kylian Mbappe’s previous record by seven days. In addition to that goal, the midfielder has three Champions League assists, including setting up the winner against Sporting in these sides’ first meeting this year. Since then, Bellingham has also scored once and set up two more in the Bundesliga, playing every single Bundesliga and Champions League minute in the process. His will be one of the first names on the teamsheet for the trip to Lisbon.
3) Danger man Malen
Young Netherlands international Malen joined Dortmund in the summer and is beginning to look very comfortable with his new club. His first goal for Dortmund came in the reverse fixture and turned out to be the only one of the game at the Signal Iduna Park. Since then, Malen has grabbed a pair of assists in the league and scored his first Bundesliga goal at the weekend against Stuttgart. The forward has found his feet in Dortmund and will be looking to use those feet to fire the Black and Yellows past Sporting once again.
Watch: Malen and Reus took BVB to within a point of Bayern on Saturday
4) Missing captain Coates
Sporting will certainly be relieved Haaland isn’t fit for the trip to Lisbon, and especially so given their defensive woes. The Portuguese club have conceded seven goals already in this year’s Champions League, and it appears that they will have to welcome Dortmund without the services of captain Sebastian Coates. The former Liverpool centre-back has been an almost ever-present for Sporting, playing every minute in the Portuguese league and Champions League, save for the opener against Ajax. The Uruguay international has been sidelined with a knee injury and his experience in keeping attackers quiet will definitely be missed against Dortmund.
5) A little bit of history repeating?
This week’s meeting will be the fourth time Sporting and Dortmund have clashed in the Champions League, and the men from Lisbon are becoming a favourite opponent for the Black and Yellows, who boast a 100 per cent record in this fixture. The last time the two clubs found themselves in the same group was in 2016/17. That year Dortmund BVB 1-0 at the Signal Iduna Park and recorded a 2-1 victory in the Portuguese capital. Will we see history repeat itself?