Dortmund will look to overturn a 3-2 deficit on Wednesday evening against Monaco in the second leg of their quarter-final clash.Following the crazy scenes in Dortmund last week, both of these sides will just be pleased to focus fully on footballing matters again. The attack on the Dortmund team bus left minimal physical damage for the players - Marc Bartra will miss out this week due to a hand injury - but it was fairly obvious that the side had been psychologically affected after a disjointed showing in their performance last week.
Both Leonardo Jardim and Thomas Tuchel represent the future of European footballing management. Both had relatively undistinguished playing careers but have forged forceful identities at their respective clubs.
UEFA Champions League | Wednesday 19 April | Stade Louis II- Monaco | 20:45
Monaco 39/20 | Draw 29/10 | Borussia Dortmund 11/10
The surprise package of the tournament thus far, Leonardo Jardim’s Monaco side have been inspirational at home this campaign. The one blemish on their home form was a draw against Leverkusen in the group stages.
They sit atop Ligue 1 - which has all of a sudden become massively competitive after years of PSG hegemony- and have an excellent chance of progressing to the semi-finals of the Champions League following their 3-2 victory in Dortmund. Their strength lies in the fact that there are no weak points in the side. They are athletic in all areas and have just the right amount of creativity in key areas.
This is the same Monaco that has had to sell the likes of James Rodriguez, Layvin Kurzawa and Anthony Martial over the past few seasons. Jardim has instilled a tremendous work ethic - epitomised by the likes of Fabinho and Tiemoue Bakayoko. The latter will return following suspension and come in for Joao Moutinho. Guido Carrillo, Djibril Sidibe and left-wing Gabriel Boschilia will all miss out due to injury this week.
Kylian Mbappe was excellent last week and will play alongside Radamel Falcao in their 4-4-2 formation. Bernardo Silva is the creative nexus of the side and one will expect that he could dominate the game as Dortmund press forward in search of quick goals.
Dortmund have had a plethora of injury concerns this season and will have various to deal with this week. Sebastian Rode will miss out in the middle of the park, which will be a big loss considering the likely influence of Silva. Dzenis Burnic will also lose out while Andre Schurrle is another big name player that will not travel with the side. Bartra misses out after last week’s attacks while Mario Gotze’s mysterious metabolic absence continues.
One ray of hope in the ever darkening gloom is that Marco Reus appears fit to play. He may come in for Christian Pulisic and will play alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ousmane Dembele in a rapid front three. I actually called Monaco’s victory last week, but also proffered the notion that Dortmund would not be out of the tie.
They are an extremely unpredictable outfit that is almost built for adversity. They will thrive on the fact that Monaco haven't reached this stage of the competition in ages and I expect a hugely entertaining second leg that could go down as the tie of the week.
Verdict: Totals Away Team - Over 2.5 Goals (31/20)
Dortmund are going to come out all guns blazing and I think they will use last week’s events as a galvanising tool. They may not progress, but I expect them to be in fluent form. Get on the Totals Away Team market - Over 2.5 Goals - at 31/20.
Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets