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Borussia Dortmund vs Atletico Madrid: Match Preview, Predicted Line-Up and Team News

Dortmund will host Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night in the Signal Iduna Park stadium to determine which team qualifies for the UCL semi-final.

Two teams that were considered outsiders by many football fans, will compete for a spot in the UEFA Champions League semi-final. Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid spent a mediocre season in their league, chasing a Champions League place for the next season. However, They both have an outstanding UCL campaign this season. Dortmund topped the “Group of Death” including PSG, AC Milan, and Newcastle, against the odds and then beat an in-from PSV to reach the quarter-final. On the other hand, Atletico finished first in their group with 14 points and knocked out Inter Milan, one of the favorites for the title in a thrilling encounter.

What Happened in the First Leg?

The first leg in Madrid last Wednesday was an intense match. In the first half, the hosts dominated Dortmund and led 2-0 thanks to De Paul and Lino’s goals, both from defensive errors. However, the match tune changed a bit after halftime and the visitors played much better after Julian Brandt came onto the pitch. Kobel made a vital save from Lino the keep his side in the game and It was all BVB after that. Haller scored with 10 minutes to go from a precise pass from Brandt and the visitors hit the bar twice before the final whistle.

The result seemed fair and both sides had mixed feelings. Atletico could put the game to bed if Lino scored and on the other hand Dortmund could equalised in the final moments. Antoine Griezmann was the star again for Rojiblancos and won the Man of the Match award and for the visitors, it was Julian Brandt who stole the show.

Match Preview

Atletico Madrid enters Signal Iduna Park with a significant lead. Since the away goal rule doesn’t apply, it’s almost like a one-off game that the Madrid team starts with a 1-0 advantage. This setup suits Diego Simeone’s preferred style of play. Despite lacking world-class defenders like Diego Godin, Atletico maintains a cohesive defensive structure and forms a wall against opponent attacks.

Another positive feature is their quick transitions from defense to offense. The Argentine coach’s flexible 3-5-2 system this season has made Atletico Madrid one of Europe’s most formidable teams. They defend with 8 or 9 men when necessary, closing down spaces, especially on the flanks. Additionally, with the pace of players like Llorente, Lemar, Molina, and Llorente, along with Antoine Griezmann’s vision and quick passes, they swiftly move the ball from their own penalty area to the opponent’s, creating goal-scoring chances. Koke and Rodrigo De Paul also play a pivotal role in linking up play with their short and long passes in these counterattacks. Morata as a center forward, forms a good partnership with Griezmann, and this season has been his most productive in terms of goal contributions.

Photo via Bild: picture alliance/dpa | Federico Gambarini

On the other hand, perhaps the most significant factor boosting Dortmund’s chances in this tie is their home advantage. Dortmund has some of the most passionate fans, and Signal Iduna Park can turn into a hellish atmosphere for any team. The Germans know that nothing is impossible, and with their supporters’ backing, they can change the outcome in a matter of minutes. They didn’t have a good start in Madrid, but in the final 15 minutes of the game, Edin Terzic’s men changed things around and now they hope to start well from the beginning.

Dortmund’s main strength lies in the speed of their wingers. Players like Karim Adeyemi, Jadon Sancho, Donyell Malen, and even youngster Bynoe-Gittens can trouble Atletico Madrid’s defense. Their star in the first leg, Julian Brandt, should start as a supporting striker or number 10 and his role in Dortmund’s attacks is crucial. The understanding and good coordination of Emre Can and Marcel Sabitzer can be instrumental in both attack and defense. Their experience came in handy in the second half of the first leg to help change the game’s momentum. Moreover, Dortmund still relies on Mats Hummels and Marco Reus’s experience.

Team News and Injuries

For Dortmund, Sebastien Haller was substituted in the 10th minute against Monchengladbach on Saturday and could miss the match. Sancho was out of the last match squad due to illness but should be fit to face Atletico. Ramy Bensebaini is absent due to a knee ligament injury and a youngster Bynoe-Gittens who performed well in the first leg is doubtful with his back injury.

For Atletico, Lino is suspended and will miss the second leg. Memphis Depay is out due to a muscle problem. Thomas Lemar, Vitolo, and Marcos Paulo are also out for the season. On the other hand, Mario Hermoso was back against Girona on Saturday and could start for Atletico. However, Saul Niguez faces a race against time to be fit for the clash.

Probable Line-up

Borussia Dortmund possible XI (4-2-3-1): Koble; Ryerson, Hummels, Schlotterbeck, Maatsen; Sabitzer, Can; Adeyemi, Brandt, Malen; Fullkrug.

Atletico Madrid possible XI (3-5-2): Oblak; Gimenez, Witsel, Hermoso; Molina, Llorente, Koke, De Paul, Azpilicueta; Griezmann, Morata.

Prediction

Expect this game to be as lively as the first leg, with both teams creating plenty of chances. The key to victory in this encounter could be better control of the midfield, and the team that can cover spaces better in the middle third has a greater chance of winning.

Atletico Madrid has a better chance considering their lead in the first leg. They’re also in good form, and if they don’t fall victim to the stadium atmosphere, they can find their way to the top 4 teams in the tournament with the brilliance of their star Antoine Griezmann.

Prediction: Dortmund 2-2 Atletico 

Alex Lundy
Alex Lundy
A lifelong football fan, Alex loves to dabble in its history, especially FIFA World Cup. But his love for sports doesn't end at football since he loves watching NBA and Formula1 too. Reading novels and watching classic films takes the rest of his time.
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