Where: Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund
When: Tuesday, November 7
Newcastle United will be looking for revenge in this one after Dortmund handed the Magpies their first Champions League defeat of the season at St. James Park last time out. Both teams will know that defeat is not an option in the tightly contested Group F, with Newcastle and Dortmund sitting on four points after three matches. This puts them two points behind group leaders PSG and two points ahead of the always-dangerous AC Milan in what has to be one of the most loaded Champions League groups in the competition’s history.
Dortmund are not coming into this game with much confidence after they were smacked in the mouth by Bayern Munich at the weekend. Harry Kane continued his outstanding form in Germany, netting a hat trick in a 4-0 Bayern win on Dortmund’s home patch. They are in great Champions League form, unbeaten in their last six games in the comp, with three wins and three draws along the way.
Dortmund looks like they will be without influential captain Emre Can, while wing prospect Julien Duranville continues to be on the sidelines with a thigh issue. On the positive side, Julian Brandt and Marco Reus are on fire right now. Brandt has four goals and four assists so far this season, and Dortmund have a potent attacking threat that will cause Newcastle problems.
This is a slightly misleading stat given that Newcastle has been nowhere near the Champions League in recent times, but the Magpies are looking to score their first away goal in the competition in two decades on Tuesday. They should have the confidence bounce in their step, however, having picked up a massive – if controversial – win over previously unbeaten Arsenal in the Premier League over the weekend.
Newcastle will have to play with more attacking intent than they did against Milan at the San Siro. They managed just one shot on target in that contest, which was not good enough given their attacking talent.
Newcastle’s injury list is growing, really testing the depth of a squad that hasn’t been wholly remodeled despite their cash influx from Saudi ownership. Alexander Isak and Jacob Murphy both pulled up lame in the reverse fixture and haven’t played since, while Sven Botman, Dan Burn, and Harvey Barnes are also out injured. The Magpies will also be without star summer signing Sandro Tonali, who is out until August after betting on games while playing in Italy.
Don’t be shocked to see Newcastle playing for a draw in this one. While Eddie Howe would love to nick an away win, he knows that with the remaining fixtures – and the way the group is set up – a point in Germany could be vital for progress to the knockout stages.
Newcastle’s list of missing players is a genuine concern, but I think this team has enough about it under the leadership of Howe to be hard to break down and to do enough to steal a point. Look for a game that finishes 0-0 or 1-1.