Champions League: Borussia Dortmund vs Monaco preview: team news, key battles, prediction and more

James Charlton
90Min

Tuesday night means football fans across the world are finally able to enjoy the return of the Champions League; with Borussia Dortmund entertaining the surprise package of the tournament, AS Monaco, in the first leg of the quarter-finals. 

Both sides had mixed results last Saturday as they looked to rest key players for the first leg of the quarter-finals in Germany. Dortmund got stomped by Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich 4-1, and the very much changed Monaco walked away 1-0 winners against Angers.

Borussia Dortmund v SL Benfica - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg


 

Dortmund managed to breeze past Portuguese side Benfica 4-1 on aggregate to reach the quarter-finals while their French opposition were involved in a goal-fest - as they knocked out English favourites Manchester City - winning on away goals.

BVB were out of sorts against Bayern, but Tuchel will know what his players lack in experience they can make up for with guile in attacking areas.


Attackers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ousmane Dembele and Christian Pulisic can torment any defence, particularly a Monaco back line that Manchester City breached six times in the previous round.


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The Monegasque club may struggle to protect its defence adequately without midfield destroyer Tiemoue Bakayoko. He will miss out through suspension. 

There is also a doubt regarding full-back Djibril Sidibe, who was recently hospitalised with appendicitis. 

If Sidibe can't play, the visitors are sure to miss his raiding runs down the flank. 

Fortunately for Monaco, they can still rely on their own ample firepower up top. In particular, 31-year-old striker Falcao is in prolific form, per the Champions League.


Key Battles

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang vs Kamil Gilk

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Gabon international Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is having an electric season so far, with Europe's elite clubs continuously being linked with the forward.

The speedster has scored 7 goals in the Champions League this season - which included a hat-trick against Benfica in the last round,  as he ran riot in the second leg of the last-16 with the Portuguese side.

Kamil Gilk is back from suspension and will have a tough job at hand with the Polish nowhere near as fast as the Dortmund forward, that being said communication and anticipation along with centre-back partner Jemerson will be key to keep the in form striker quiet.


Bernardo Silva vs Marcel Schmelzer


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Wonderkid Bernardo Silva has caught the eye of every football fan around the world with dazzling performances in Ligue 1 and the Champions League, most notably in the last round against Manchester City.

The Portuguese international has been linked with pretty much all the European powerhouses, with expected huge bids being tabled in for his services this summer.

The tricky right winger will be up against German Marcel Schmelzer and it will most definitely be a long night for the left-back. Schmelzer's lack of pace and acceleration will have Silva eager to get past the full-back and looking to float crosses into the box.

The 29-year-old, however, reads the game well with his concentration and defensive contribution being a couple of his strong attributes, it sets up what could be an entertaining duel between the two.

Team News


FC Schalke 04 v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga

Thomas Tuchel is without injured duo Mario Gotze and Erik Durm for the visit of Monaco. 
The Dortmund boss is also sweating over the fitness Andre Schurrle, Erik Durm, Shinji Kagawa and Julian Weigl, though the latter could be fit to start.

Tuchel could move away from the three-man defence deployed in the loss to Bayern Munich, with a 4-1-4-1 formation likely.


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Tiemoue Bakayoko is suspended for Monaco, but Kamil Glik returns from a ban and is set to start at the heart of the defence. 


Falcao started and scored in the weekend win at Angers and is set to feature from the off alongside Kylian Mbappe in the attack.


Boschilia and Guido Carrillo are out, while Djibril Sidibe was hospitalised at the weekend and is set to miss out, with Andrea Raggi likely to deputise at right-back.

Potential Lineups

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Borussia Dortmund: (4-1-4-1) Burki; Piszczek, Sokratis, Bartra, Schmelzer; Weigl; Pulisic, Castro, Guerreiro, Dembele; Aubameyang

AS Monaco: (4-4-2) Subasic; Raggi, Jemerson, Gilk, Mendy; Silva, Moutinho, Fabinho, Lemar; Mbappe, Falcao 

Prediction 


Borussia Dortmund will hope to quickly move on from the disappointing 4-1 loss at Bayern Munich at the weekend with the welcome of Monaco. On home turf, however, they have been
formidable this term, failing to win on just four occasions in all competitions.

Monaco bounced back from their Coupe de la Ligue final loss to PSG with back-to-back wins. That being said, they have failed to win their last three away Champions League outings, but are more than capable of hitting the back of the net.

This game promises goals and Dortmund should secure victory in what is set to be an entertaining encounter.


Borussia Dortmund 4-2 Monaco

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