Expressive Monaco set to progress in style
Dortmund have it all to do
Champions League quarter-final second leg
BT Sport 3, 7.45pm Wednesday
Borussia Dortmund overturned a first-leg deficit to make it into the Champions League quarter-finals but repeating the feat to qualify for the semis may well be beyond the German giants.
Six weeks have passed since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang banged in a hat-trick as Dortmund hammered Benfica 4-0 to recover from a 1-0 loss in Portugal.
This time, of course, the defeat was a home one, 3-2 against a Monaco side brimming with confidence and poised to complete the job on Thomas Tuchel’s men.
Bookmakers don’t want to be taking any chances with Monaco to qualify but they are prepared to offer decent odds about Leonardo Jardim’s men winning the match at Stade Louis II. The Ligue 1 leaders are available at 2-1, which looks a pretty generous quote.
Monaco are no mugs. They looked really decent in Dortmund where they could even afford to miss a first-half penalty.
The backdrop to that match – the Dortmund team bus getting bombed a day earlier – has led many to presume the German side simply weren’t ready for the game and the result was misleading.
Yet that paints an unfair picture of a Monaco side who are eclipsing PSG in France and have beaten Spurs and Manchester City to make it to the last eight. Their record at home in the Champions League this season is played six, won five, drawn one and they haven’t failed to score in a home game – in any competition – since November 2015.
They score bundles of goals. French league football is notoriously cagey yet the Monegasques have piled up 90 goals in 32 league games - 24 more than Paris St Germain.
Radamel Falcao is back to his best while Kylian Mbappe, their two-goal hero from the first leg, is a superstar in the making.
They have won ten of their last 11 matches and deserve the utmost respect.
Dortmund are going to have to take risks. They go into the game knowing they have to score at least two goals, and almost certainly more.
They boast the firepower to pull it off and will be pleased that Fabianho, a crucial pivot in the Monaco midfield, is suspended. Having said that, the hosts welcome back Tiemoue Bakayoko from a ban while Andrea Raggi, a liability at left-back last week, will be replaced by Benjamin Mendy.
The Germans have failed to score only once since October, though that was the 1-0 loss in Benfica in this tournament.
Goals look an absolute inevitability in this game. Tuchel isn’t going to die wondering and odds of 4-11 that both teams score tell you all you need to know. Even over 3.5 goals is generally odds-on.
1pt 2-1 general
Fabinho is suspended but Tiemoue Bakayoko returns from a ban. Left-back Benjamin Mendy is fit but Djibril Sidibe (appendicitis) is out.
Marc Bartra is recovering from wrist surgery. Marco Reus has returned from a hamstring problem. Mario Gotze is out for the season while Andre Schurrle is also sidelined.
Monaco’s matches in all competitions average 3.6 goals per game, Dortmund’s 3.4.