Will Borussia Dortmund rise to the challenge and see off Atlético Madrid in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals? - © THOMAS COEX
Will Borussia Dortmund rise to the challenge and see off Atlético Madrid in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals? - © THOMAS COEX

5 reasons Borussia Dortmund will STILL beat Atlético Madrid in the UEFA Champions League


Borussia Dortmund are down, but by no means out as they bid to overturn a 2-1 deficit in the home leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie with Atlético Madrid. bundesliga.com explains why BVB can bounce back and reach the last four...

1) Signal Iduna Park

Dortmund will be dancing to the tune of a sell-out crowd on Wednesday. Arguably the finest football cauldron in the world game, it's the ideal backdrop for a must-win home encounter in the Champions League. BVB are unbeaten in four matches on their own patch in this season's edition, and haven't lost there in the competition since November 2021. Even holders Manchester City fell short of maximum points in last season's groups, while Spanish opposition haven't won in Dortmund in over seven years.

2) Travel-sick Atléti

Granted, it was Atléti who took the spoils back in the 2016/17 round of 16 - but Diego Simeone's current crop don't travel anywhere near as well. They've only won five of 15 on the road in La Liga this term (W5, D3, L7), and one of four in Europe (W1, D2, L1). Clean sheets are not their strong suit anymore, either, with two from nine so far in the 2023/24 Champions League - but none away from the Metropolitano. Of 26 competitive fixtures on German soil, they've lost 16 (W6, D4, L16).

Watch: Borussia Dortmund stadium experience

3) Adayemi - ready to shine

While it was Sébastien Haller's second-half reply from the bench that halved the deficit in Madrid, the injury to Haller in Mönchengladbach on Saturday will likely mean that Dortmund will need inspiration from their other attacking talents in the second leg. Step forward Karim Adeyemi, perhaps. The speedster has blossomed in recent weeks after a difficult start to the season, netting the opening goal in Dortmund's 2-0 Klassiker win in Munich during a run of three goals in four games. He has eight goals already in Champions League football - including a blistering solo goal against Chelsea in last year's last 16 - and has the directness and trickery to trouble Atletico. 

Sébastien Haller's goal in Madrid has Dortmund firmly in the tie, despite the 2-1 loss in the first leg. - Clive Brunskill

4) First-leg plus points

Despite a below-par first half in Madrid, Dortmund were desperately unlucky not to come away with a better result in last week's encounter. After Haller pulled it back to 2-1, English winger Jamie Bynoe-Gittens struck the woodwork, as did fellow second-half substitute Julian Brandt with virtually the last kick of the game. Whoever gets the nod to start in Dortmund, and whoever gets the call from the bench, Edin Terzić has the tools to hurt Atléti.

5) The Malen factor

The likely return of Donyell Malen might just tip the balance in Dortmund's favour. The Dutchman missed the first leg through injury, but returned to action against Borussia Mönchengladbach in the Bundesliga at the weekend, coming on as a substitute in the 54th minute. He scored away to PSV Eindhoven in the previous round, adding to his one DFB Cup and 11 Bundesliga goals so far this season - eight of which have fallen since the turn of the year. 

Watch: Every Donyell Malen Bundesliga goal in 2023/24

Condiering how Atléti were unable to get a handle on Bynoe-Gittens and Brandt, a fit and firing Malen will give Simeone's back line plenty to think about.