The situation in Group C of the Champions League after the fourth round is rather curious. Borussia Dortmund and Sporting have six points each, with the German side sitting second thanks to their 1-0 home win at home to Doniell Malen. Correspondingly, the Yellow-Blacks can comfortably win even a draw in Portugal – and they will remain in second place before the last round game against hopeless underdogs Besiktas who had lost all their previous four games. Defeating the Turkish side at home should not be a major challenge. If the visitors defeat Sporting for the second time, they will guarantee a play-off spot.
The Lisbon side have the opposite task: they must win in Germany by all means. And if there is a win in two or more goals (to win back the minimum away defeat), the Lions will celebrate their exit from the group. In case of defeat, Sporting take third place and qualify for the Europa League play-offs. So the fifth round can decide everything. Odds for all sporting events can be found at promo code for 1xbet registration.
Ruben Amorim’s charges approach Wednesday’s match with a beautiful winning streak of nine games in all competitions. There are four tournaments to suit all tastes: the Champions League, in which the Lions beat Besiktas twice during this stretch, the Portugal Cup, the Portuguese League Cup and, of course, the league. It is clear that the level of the opponents in these nine encounters was not always up to the mark, but still, such successful results should inspire optimism not only in the hearts of the fans, but also in the players themselves.
Still, Sporting should probably not be overestimated. Their two victories in the Champions League group, thanks to which the Lions still retain a chance of qualifying for the spring, were over Besiktas – and they are beaten by absolutely everybody. “The Lisbon side, however, lost to Ajax and Dortmund in their opening games, and it was probably in those encounters that they showed their true level. It is not surprising that Borussia are favourites to play Borussia and not the home side.
Borussia Dortmund are certainly going to prove that their victory over Sporting in the first leg was not an accident, but rather a legitimate win. Besides, they need to make up for two defeats to Ajax, who unexpectedly enough turned out to be the hegemon in this group. Last time round at the Westfalen, Borussia lost 1-3 to the Amsterdam side, and they were very complimentary about Hummels’ early sending-off that left them trapped for two-thirds of the game. The hosts lacked energy in the final stretch of the match: Ajax scored all three goals after 70 minutes, taking advantage of gaps in the orphaned defence without their leader.
However, there are suspicions that they would not have lost even when the teams were equal. “Borussia Dortmund, under Marco Rosa, are still in search of themselves, and then Holand’s injury wiped the ground beneath their feet. Without the Norwegian wunderkind, Borussia Dortmund continue to score, but not as aggressively. Under Erling they could easily score two or three goals, but now they have to give birth to two with great difficulty. If it hadn’t been for Marko Royce scoring in the 85th minute, they would have finished 1-1 down. Marco scored in two rounds in a row, and if you take all the games, three – the only goal against Ajax under his belt.
Sporting vs Borussia: tentative line-ups
The visitors are going to miss the game with Mats Hummels, who was suspended for his suspension in the game with Ajax. In addition, Torgan Hazard has been given a positive test in the Belgian squad. The participation of Marius Wolf, Dan-Axel Zagadu, Giovanni Reina and Yussuf Mukoko is questionable. The visitors will be without Jovane Cabral, Tiago Tomas, Sebastian Coates and Ruben Vinagre.
Sporting vs Borussia: author’s prediction
Borussia should not lose this meeting in any way, even if Sporting will take the field extremely motivated. The difference in class between the teams will certainly have an impact, unless something unexpected happens – another early suspension for the visitors, for example. I’m betting on a clean win for Marco Roza’s team and its individual total more than 1.5. This match is also recommended to fans of betting on the “top”: I predict the score 1:2 or 1:3.