Saturday's victory was certainly welcome to keep the Yellow-Blacks' domestic ambitions alive, but it is the clash with Dutch powerhouse Ajax that has kept the club’s fans restless in anticipation. A point in the Amsterdam Arena will ensure that Jürgen Klopp’s team advance to the knockout stages at the very least, with a game to spare no less.
Deservedly high praise
Dortmund have sent shockwaves through Europe with their performances in the competition this season. Drawn in the ‘Group of Champions’ along with Real Madrid, Manchester City and Ajax, there were fears that they would suffer an early exit, just as in 2011/12. However, their dynamic, exciting football has taken them to top of the group with eight points, including a memorable home win over Madrid.
Borussia’s youthful, exuberant style, combining high-energy pressing and an admirable ambition to commit men forward, has drawn plaudits around Europe. After the 2-2 draw in the Bernabeu a fortnight ago, Madrid coach Jose Mourinho declared them to be one of the favourites to win the competition, a sentiment echoed by Manchester United’s veteran tactician Sir Alex Ferguson.
Yet Dortmund will do well to take special note of the strength of Ajax. They were assumed to be the group's weakest team, but the 1995 European champions have taken four points off Man City, run Madrid close at home and only succumbed to defeat at Signal Iduna Park thanks to a late strike from Robert Lewandowski on Matchday 1.
Defender Neven Subotic is one player who maintains that the job isn’t yet done for the group leaders. "Ajax have an impressive team. Going into the home game I already had a lot of respect for them," says the 23-year-old. The feeling will very much be neutral, as Dortmund 's squad includes Polish wing wizard Jakub Blaszczykowski , back to fitness after a successful return from injury at the weekend.
Ajax: Vermeer - van Rhijn, Alderweireld, Mpisander, Blind - Poulsen, Schone, de Jong - Eriksen, Fischer, Boerrigter
Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer - Bender, Gündogan - Reus, Götze, Blaszczykowski - Lewandowski