FC Barcelona (1st, 8pts) vs Borussia Dortmund (2nd, 7pts)
Competition/Round: 2019-20 UEFA Champions League, Group F, Matchday 5
Group F Standings: Barcelona (1st, 8pts); Borussia Dortmund (2nd, 7pts); Inter Milan (3rd, 4pts); Slavia Prague (4th, 2pts)
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Gerard Piqué, Nélson Semedo, Jordi Alba, Carles Aleñá, Carles Pérez (out)
Dortmund Outs & Doubts: Paco Alcácer, Jakob Brunn Larsen, Thomas Delaney (out)
Date/Time: Wednesday, November 27, 2019, 9pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 8pm GMT (UK), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 1.30am IST (India, Thursday)
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Referee: Clément Turpin (FRA)
How to watch on TV: TUDN (USA), BT Sport ESPN (UK), SuperSport 6 (Nigeria), SONY TEN 2 (India), Movistar Liga de Campeones (Spain), others
So here we are: the brutal three weeks have arrived for Barcelona. Every game from now on will make or break Barça’s season, and every good or bad result will tell us what to expect from this team in 2020. The first test is Borussia Dortmund at home, and it is a truly crucial game for Barça’s destiny in the Champions League.
A win and Barça will qualify and win the group without needing a result against Inter Milan at San Siro in Matchday 6, which is the best possible scenario. A draw is not bad but makes it really hard to win the group. A loss could be tragic: Inter and Dortmund will qualify if they win their remaining two games, because both face Barcelona and thus would prevent the Catalans from picking up any more points.
The stakes couldn’t higher for this one, and while it’s impossible to expect anything from Ernesto Valverde’s Barça at this point, this is a team that has performed well under pressure with this bad coach, and the hope is that they’re able to do the same again. Barça are also nearly unstoppable at home in Europe, and results like the draw against Slavia Prague are giant outliers in what’s been pretty much a perfect decade in Champions League games at Camp Nou.
Step up or step aside. This is big boy stuff now. Do your job. Make us believe.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Roberto, Umtiti, Lenglet, Firpo; De Jong, Busquets, Arthur; Messi, Suárez, Dembélé
Dortmund (4-2-3-1): Bürki; Hakimi, Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro; Witsel, Weigl; Sancho, Brandt, Hazard; Reus
Both of these teams are not well coached, fully loaded with talent and wildly unpredictable, so the one thing I’ll use to attempt to guess the result is Barça’s home record in Europe: 4-2 to the home team in a wild game, securing qualification as group winners.