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Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Dynamic Dortmund to leave Bundesliga woes behind

Borussia Dortmund's Pierre Emerick Aubameyang celebrates against Leipzig
1 of 1

Champions League last 16
BT Sport 3, 7.45pm Tuesday

Borussia Dortmund were humiliated in the Bundesliga on Saturday but they had two eyes on this Champions League clash in Lisbon and Thomas Tuchel's side can respond to their disaster in Darmstadt by gaining a positive result against Benfica.

Tuchel's team need to play a whole lot better than they did when losing 2-1 to the rock-bottom German whipping boys and Dortmund almost certainly will after the manager took liberties with his team selection.

The defence will be significantly improved by the return of several players and there is a suspicion they have been saving themselves for bigger matches all season long.

Dortmund have beaten Bayern Munich and Leipzig - first and second in the Bundesliga - to nil and also drawn home and away with Real Madrid en route to topping their Champions League group.

The Yellow-Blacks also did the double over Sporting which is a decent form yardstick for this trip to Benfica's Stadium of Light.

When Dortmund defend well they are a massive threat to even Europe's best sides. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a world-class forward option who showed that talent with goals in both matches against Real Madrid.

Marco Reus is still finding his feet after an injury-hit campaign but there is no doubting the impact of Ousmane Dembele, the absurdly-talented teenager who dribbles past defenders as if they are training cones.

It won't be easy to take a lead back to Dortmund but they are the more likely winners and at the very least should be confident of obtaining a positive result, particularly as Jonas is a doubtful starter for the hosts.

The forward has returned in fine fashion since missing four months of the season but he has missed training in the last couple of days and his absence would be a significant blow after Goncalo Guedes's departure to Paris St-Germain in January.

Benfica claimed only eight points in the group stage and were the only qualifiers to reach the last 16 without a positive goal difference following home and away defeats to Napoli.

The Eagles are also only one point clear of Porto domestically and that's the same Porto who finished second to Leicester in their Champions League group.

Goalkeeper Ederson, who was sent off in Friday's league win over Arouca, has generally earned rave reviews for his performances this season and Brazilian national team scouts have been keeping a close eye on him. He should get plenty of opportunities to show off his talents.

Recommendation
Borussia Dortmund draw no bet
1pt 7-10 Betfair, Coral

Bet on this game at Soccerbase.com


Team news
Benfica
Andrija Zivkovic is suspended and highly-rated left-back Alejandro Grimaldo is a long-term absentee. Jonas has recovered from a foot injury but is now in danger of missing out with a back complaint.

Dortmund
Mario Gotze has not travelled and joins Sven Bender and Nuri Sahin on the treatment table.

Key stat
Dortmund scored a record-breaking 21 Champions League group-stage goals with ten of those coming on the road.

There is no doubting the impact of Ousmane Dembele, the absurdly-talented teenager who dribbles past defenders as if they are training cones
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