German side Borussia Dortmund will be hoping to convert their chances when they entertain Portuguese champions Benfica in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League (UCL) round of 16 clash at the Signa Iduna Park on Wednesday night as they attempt to overturn the tricky 1-0 deficit they suffered in the first leg.
Dortmund wasted a lot of clear opportunities to get at least an away goal in the first leg played at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal three weeks ago. Their best chance on the night was a poor penalty from star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, which was saved by Benfica goalkeeper Ederson.
Apart from the fact that they have to convert their chances when hostilities begin, winners of the 1997 edition of this competition Borussia Dortmund can also take a lot of positives from Benfica's wretched record in Germany ahead of the game. Benfica have played nine games and lost every one of them in both the old European Cup and the revised format known as 'UCL' with a paltry 4 goals scored and a whooping 26 goals conceded from the previously mentioned games.
Both sides are however in a good state going into the game as Borussia Dortmund thrashed Bayer Leverkusen 6-2 in a German Bundesliga clash at the weekend in what was a battle of two UCL teams with Gabon star Aubameyang bagging two goals. On the other hand, Portuguese Super League leaders Benfica have won their last five games to stay ahead of rivals FC Porto.
Injury News: Borussia Dortmund and German forward Marco Reus will certainly miss out of this game after he sustained a thigh injury during the league game against Leverkusen at the weekend and was subsequently ruled out of action for the next one month. Portuguese left-back Raphael Guerreiro is a doubt for Borussia Dortmund after picking up a hamstring problem though he will undergo a late fitness test to ascertain his status for the game. For Benfica, Brazilian midfielder Filipe Augusto has fully recovered from an ankle injury and is available for selection.
Borussia Dortmund have won two and lost seven of their last nine games at the knockout stage of the UCL.
Borussia Dortmund suffered their first defeat of this UCL season during their first leg clash after winning four and drawing two of their six group games in this year's competition.
Possible Starting Line-Up (Borussia Dortmund): Roman Burki; Lukasz Piszczek, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Marc Batra, Erik Durm; Moussa Dembele, Julian Weigl, Raphael Guerreiro, Marcel Schmelzer, Andre Schurrle; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Risk of Suspension (Borussia Dortmund): Marcel Schmelzer and Raphael Guerreiro are at a risk of getting banned for one game if they are booked.
Possible Starting Line-Up (Benfica): Ederson; Nelson Semedo, Luisao, Victor Lindelof, Eliseu; Andreas Samaris, Pizzi, Eduardo Salvio, Andrija Zivkovic; Jonas, Kostas Mitroglou
Risk of Suspension (Benfica): Ljubomir Fejsa, Pizzi and Andreas Samaris will get one-match ban if they are booked.
My Verdict: I believe Borussia Dortmund would do enough to go through to the quarter-final. Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 3 Benfica 1 (3-2 on aggregate win for Dortmund).
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