APOEL vs Dortmund by Gustav
APOEL didn't look that well in first two matches in Champions League and maybe better to say, quality difference between them and the rest of the group is way too big in favor of their opponents. Firstly they were defeated away to Real Madrid quite easy with 3:0 result, but have suffered the same 0:3 defeat in front of own fans against Tottenham. Even though they actually had a decent match, their visitors were simply way more concrete in attack and have sealed the victory without much of problems, thanks to three goals from Kane, one in first halftime and two in second.
Players of APOEL were threatening at times as well, however will need much more energy and experience in order to match up against such a strong opponent. With English side and Real Madrid already having six points, there's no much of chances for Cypriots reaching the knockout phase, while anything but a defeat here would be a positive surprise for their fans. As for the domestic league, they took an easy 2:0 home three pointer against Doxa last weekend, with goals from Pote and de Camargo, being now at fourth position at the table with three victories, a draw and a defeat, having five points less and two matches less than first placed Anorthosis.
Defender Zhivko Milanov is long term absentee since August, similar to midfielder Georgios Efrem, neither of them having played in first two rounds of Champions League group stage.
Dortmund, on the other side, also suffered two defeats for now in Champions League, firstly going down away to Tottenham with a 3:1 result in first round, but then also couldn't stop Real Madrid in front of their own fans suffering 1:3 defeat as well. Even though it was fairly good game from the German side, the opponent was simply even more stronger and more concrete in offense.
As for the domestic Bundesliga, they have suffered 2:3 defeat in front of own fans against RB Leipzig last weekend, but probably already having their Champions League clash in their minds a bit already. They now sit still at first position at the table having two more points than Bayern Munich. Their chances are lowered now in the Champions League to progress further and anything but a victory here would represent a huge disappointment for their fans.
Offensive midfielder Andreas Schurrle is doubtful for this one, while injured remain Lukasz Pisczek (7/0), Marco Reus (no performance so far), Raphael Guerreiro (also didn't perform), defensive Marcel Schmelzer (1/0), all without important role except Pisczek.
There is no doubt that APOEL will be fired up to do everything possible to walk away with something here, but the quality of these two sides almost can't be compared. One way or another, I expect the Germans to dominate from the first minute and record a victory in similar style as Real Madrid and Tottenham did.