Erling Haaland is set to return to the Borussia Dortmund starting line-up when the Black-Yellows travel to Rome to face Ciro Immobile and Lazio in their opening UEFA Champions League Group F fixture on Tuesday (kick-off: 9pm CEST/8pm BST/3pm ET).
Following his exploits for Norway during the October international break - including a hat-trick against Romania - Haaland came off the bench to provide the match-winning assist for Dortmund captain Marco Reus against Hoffenheim on Saturday. The 20-year-old has now laid on three goals and scored a team-leading five in his six appearances in all competitions for BVB this season. Julian Brandt is set to make way for the Dortmund No.9, who should be able to count on Gio Reyna for support. The American teenager - who last term became the Champions League's youngest US-born debutant and provider with his assist for Haaland in the last 16 first-leg win against beaten finalists Paris Saint-Germain - has started every league game for Dortmund in 2020/21, scoring one and laying on three goals. Left-back Raphael Guerreiro and 17-year-old midfielder Jude Bellingham - the Bundesliga's September Rookie of the Month - are also set for recalls after being used as second-half substitutes this past weekend. With Lukasz Piszczek a major doubt and Manuel Akanji available again, Emre Can will likely revert to the right-hand side of head coach Lucien Favre's preferred three-man defence.
Immobile played under Favre's best-known predecessor, Jürgen Klopp, during his one-season stay in Dortmund. The Italian scored 10 goals in his 34 appearances, including four in the Champions League, before rediscovering his best form at Torino and then Lazio, via an underwhelming stint with Sevilla. Having been overshadowed by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park, Immobile has scored over 100 goals in sky blue, including a league-leading 36 in last season's Serie A. Italy's reigning Player of the Year also helped I Biancocelesti win the Italian Super Cup, but has struck just once in the early part of 2020/21. Sent off in the 1-1 draw with Inter Milan prior to the October internationals, he was sorely missed as Lazio lost 3-0 to Sampdoria on Saturday, with Bastos, Adam Marusic and Stefan Radu also absent. Lazio are now winless in three since beating Calgiari on the opening weekend, and are returning to the Champions League circuit for the first time since finishing bottom of their section way back in 2007/08. Zenit host Club Brugge in the group's other Matchday 1 encounter.
Watch: Haaland and Reyna clicking on and off the field
- Haaland was the second highest scorer in the Champions League last season, his total of 10 bettered only by Bayern Munich counterpart Robert Lewandowski (15).
- Immobile scored just three goals in 24 Bundesliga appearances for Dortmund.
- The teams have met three times previously. Dortmund won 1-0 thanks to a goal from Reus in the most recent of those, a friendly in August 2018. Before then, BVB won 2-1 on aggregate in the 1994/95 UEFA Cup quarter-finals.
- Lazio haven’t enjoyed playing German opposition recently, losing to Eintracht Frankfurt twice in the 2018/19 Europa League group stage, and going down 3-1 on aggregate to Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League play-offs in August 2015.
- Can faced Lazio three times during his 18 months at Juventus, winning two and drawing one. He played alongside Lazio midfielder Lucas Leiva during their time together at Liverpool (2014-2017).
- BVB finished second behind Barcelona in their section last season, collecting 10 points to finish ahead of Inter Milan and Slavia Prague.
Lazio: Strakosha - Patric, Acerbi, Hoedt - Leiva - Parolo, Milinkovic-Savic, Alberto, Marusic - Immobile (c), Correa
Out: Lulic (ankle), Pereira (ill), Proto (arm), Radu (hamstring)
Doubtful: Bastos (hamstring), Felipe (ankle), Lazzari (hamstring)
Coach: Simone Inzaghi
Dortmund: Bürki - Can, Hummels (c), Akanji - Meunier, Bellingham, Witsel, Guerreiro - Sancho, Reyna - Haaland
Out: Schmelzer (knee), Schulz (calf), Zagadou (knee)
Doubtful: Hazard (muscular), Piszczek (knock)
Coach: Lucien Favre