Manchester City travel to Germany this week knowing that the most they can hope to earn from their fixture at Signal Iduna Park is a spot in this season’s Europa League.
Jürgen Klopp has almost a fully fit batch of players to pick from for the midweek encounter but is likely to rest a few individuals for the game, having already sealed top spot in Group D.
On the other hand, not only do Roberto Mancini’s side make their trip to the Bundesliga champions with lowered expectations, but they do so with an injury-hit squad.
After earning a draw against Bayern Munich this weekend, it would seem that Borussia Dortmund’s domestic form is starting to resemble their European standards of late.
It’s not altogether surprising that this week’s meeting at Signal Iduna Park will be just the second ever encounter between the two clubs.
This time last month, the Yellow and Blacks managed to come away from the Etihad Stadium with a point in hand, and can count themselves slightly unlucky not to have earned the victory.
Back then, it was Marco Reus and a last-gasp Mario Balotelli equaliser that provided the action in what was an end-to-end second half.
Reus has netted the opening goal for his side in three of his last four Champions League games, and he could be around to do so again depending on Klopp’s team selection.
History would appear to bode well for Borussia Dortmund, with City having won just once in their five trips to Germany, while this week’s hosts have never lost to English opposition when playing at home.
Furthermore, the low-spending policy of Germany’s champions would appear to contrast magnificently against Manchester City’s splurging of cash in recent years.
So, it would appear that money perhaps doesn’t buy you love after all.
After sitting out the 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich over the weekend, captain Sebastian Kehl remains a doubt for the Manchester City fixture and is likely to be rested rather than rushed back into match fitness.
Sven Bender had an impressive performance against Der FCB despite playing through injury and so should be given a week off against City.
On the other hand, Neven Subotic succumbed to his injuries and came off with a groin issue over the weekend, although the Serbian should return to figure against Roberto Mancini’s Citizens.
With his team already in the Round of 16, Jürgen Klopp could hand a start to Moritz Leitner, while Ilkay Gundogan should also make his return to fitness after failing to do so for the Bayern Munich fixture.
Roberto Mancini travels to Germany without a fully fit, recognised left-back in his squad, with Aleksandar Kolarov and Gael Clichy suffering from groin and ankle issues, respectively.
This could lead to the Italian fielding the experimental 3-5-2 formation that he has used on occasion this campaign as his side search for goals against the German champions.
Perhaps the largest absence for the visitors this week is David Silva, who hasn’t travelled to Dortmund with the rest of his side.
The 26-year-old has picked up a hamstring injury and may even miss the upcoming derby fixture against Manchester United this weekend, along with James Milner who was forced off against Wigan with a hamstring complaint.
Yaya Toure sits out the Champions League tie after being cautioned against Real Madrid for the third time in this season’s tournament.
One positive for Mancini is that Jack Rodwell was deemed fit to travel this week after training for the first time since being ruled out with a hamstring injury some weeks ago.
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Borussia Dortmund (4-2-3-1)
DEF: Piszczek, Hummels, Santana, Scmelzer
CM: Gundogan, Leitner
AMF: Błaszczykowski, Goetze, Reus
Manchester City (3-5-2)
DEF: Maicon, Kompany, Nastasic
DM: Barry, Rodwell
AMF: Sinclair, Tevez, Nasri
FWD: Dzeko, Aguero