Tag Archives: Borussia Dortmund

Manchester City vs Borussia Dortmund – Champions League quarter-final predictions

The UEFA Champions League is back with some absolutely mouth watering ties as we enter the quarter-final stage of the competition.

Two of the most exciting, attacking teams left in the competition will meet as Manchester City take on the Bundesliga’s Borussia Dortmund in the last eight knowing that they have a tough route to the final even if they’re able to progress through this round.

Pep Guardiola’s side were able to come through a reasonably comfortable encounter with Borussia Moenchengladbach, winning both home and away to come away with a routine 4-0 aggregate victory. Dortmund on the other hand were involved in one of the more entertaining fixtures of the last round, winning 3-2 at the Ramon Sanchez Pijuan before fumbling a 2-0 lead in their home leg to draw 2-2 on the night and progress 5-4 on aggregate.

In the Premier League, City look set to win their third league title in just four seasons after defeating Leicester City this past weekend. They now need just 11 points in the remaining eight games of the season to mathematically seal the title as they chase an unprecedented quadruple this season.

Dortmund on the other hand are struggling domestically, currently sitting seven points off the Champions League places after yet another defeat this past weekend to Eintracht Frankfurt.

It’s unlikely to get any easier for them now too, with Jadon Sancho likely to miss the first leg through injury and an away leg at the Etihad Stadium to come before their home tie. City have shown a fantastic defensive ability this season to shut their opponents out of games, keeping 28 clean sheets in all competitions this season including Ederson with 17 in the Premier League – no goalkeeper has kept more than the Brazilian.

Add to that that Guardiola’s side is also the highest scoring side in the Premier League, it’s a recipe for disaster for the German side. Edin Terzic is the man in charge following the dismissal of Lucien Favre earlier this year but he has been unable to really steady the ship. They have maintained their attacking impetus though, with Erling Haaland in particular shining as the top scorer in this season’s Champions League competition and behind only Andre Silva and Robert Lewandowski in the race for the Bundesliga golden boot.

City’s style of play has changed in a big way this season, with them not focusing so much on battering teams and more on control. They’re still possession heavy, as any Guardiola team is, but without a central number nine as their primary goalscorer they’ve seen more rotation and interchanging of positions and been able to share the load more.

Dortmund’s style is also similar to their traditions, with transitions a huge part of their attacking style. City are the masters of stopping the transitions in their tracks with the way they keep the ball and set up to stop counter attacks, and without being able to transition BVB will be in big trouble.

Defensively, Dortmund have struggled to keep teams quiet this season conceding 39 goals in the Bundesliga – more than anyone else in the top half of their league. Against City they’re going to be under the collar throughout, and stylistically there couldn’t be a worse team for them to come up against.

While you can never count Haaland out of being on the scoresheet or Dortmund from creating chances but I’m more than confident in my belief that City will put them to the sword and come away comfortable winners.


Manchester City 3-1 Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund 0-2 Manchester City
(Manchester City to progress 5-1 on aggregate)

Champions League last 16 predictions – Sevilla vs Borussia Dortmund

The Champions League is back and the last 16 has thrown up some really exciting ties to determine who will make it into the quarter-finals.

In one of the more open ended ties pulled out of the hat, the 2020 Europa League winners Sevilla take on the free-flowing attacking German giants Borussia Dortmund.

Sevilla currently sit in fourth place in La Liga, nine points off the top of the table behind Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona. Julen Lopetegui’s side have established a fantastic style of football, playing fast-paced possession football where domestically they score twice as many goals as they concede.

Dortmund on the other hand have been a hot and cold side this season, which saw them dismiss former boss Lucien Favre back in December. Edin Terzic was placed in charge for the rest of the season and it was recently announced that they will permanently hire Marco Rose at the end of the season after he revealed he’d be activating the break clause in his Borussia Moenchengladbach contract.

Individually the Dortmund side have still got incredible talent, with the likes of Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho finding great form in recent months while Jude Bellingham has settled in well in midfield. There have been injuries throughout the season, especially defensively and their current form has seen them win just twice in their last six games.

It’s almost guaranteed to be a tie that will see both sides attacking and looking to implement their own style on each game to give themselves the best chance of winning.

The Sevilla side is probably better placed to do that, with a permanent coach in place who has worked his ideas onto the squad for the best part of two years now. Central defender Jules Kounde has found himself being linked to all the top sides in Europe following his brilliant performances, while the attacking players such as Youssef En-Nesyri and January signing Papau Gomez will be keen to impress on the big stage once again.

Dortmund can score goals, nothing has changed there, but defensively they are incredibly suspect. There is a huge lack of pace in their back line which Sevilla will be keen to expose but also just a genuine lack of quality and leadership in defensive situations.

This comes down to individual quality (Dortmund) against organisation and teamwork (Sevilla). Normally, I’d back the quality when the gap is so wide but it’s hard to judge when the gap isn’t.

Overall, I think we get a shock in this tie. It should be a high scoring tie, and I think both teams will be able to score goals and win their respective home tie but Sevilla’s superior defence should see them come out on top overall.


Sevilla 2-1 Dortmund
Dortmund 3-2 Sevilla
(4-4 on aggregate, Sevilla to progress on away goals)

What is Erling Haaland’s best next move?

It’s only been a little over a year since Erling Haaland joined Borussia Dortmund, but all eyes are already on where his next move could potentially be.

The Norwegian striker took Europe by storm last year for Salzburg, before a €20m move to the Bundesliga in the January transfer window. Since moving to Signal Iduna Park Haaland has continued to score at a phenomenal rate, with 38 goals in 40 appearances so far.

Upon signing, reports claimed that a release clause was inserted into his contract for the summer of 2022 at around €65m but rumours are swirling that clubs could be willing to pay more than that this coming summer to get him early.

With those reports rife, where would his best move be? Lets assess his options..


If reports are to be believed, Roman Abramovich has made the Norwegian his number one target for the summer and is willing to blow a considerable wad of cash on him.

After spending big on Timo Werner and Kai Havertz last summer, Thomas Tuchel was brought in to help them improve from their early season poor form. It seems as though Werner is viewed as a left winger or inside forward rather than an out and out number nine and that could open up a spot for Haaland to come straight into the team.

With Tuchel’s approach play, Haaland would be allowed to focus on what he’s good at which is getting on the end of chances. He wouldn’t need to be involved in the build-up too much, where his fundamentals can sometimes let him down.

Chelsea v Burnley - Premier League : News Photo

A poacher extraordinaire, Haaland’s potential future at Stamford Bridge really depends on how Werner is viewed long-term positionally by the coaching staff. If he did opt for a blue shirt though, it’s hard to see him not scoring a tonne of goals.


The club he was strongly linked with before opting for Dortmund, Manchester United will no doubt be back in the hunt for Haaland should he become available again.

Having previously worked under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Molde, both parties will know each other well and United’s clear progression this season will be a positive sign for the young striker. The Reds are seriously lacking a potent number nine and while Edinson Cavani has done reasonably well this season, at 34 he isn’t a long-term option.

Haaland would be more needed in the build up with Solskjaer’s side than he’s used to but with the way they counter attack he would be more in his element and would fit into the way the team play reasonably well. A reunion could be on the cards between two of Norway’s greatest attacking exports ever.


If Haaland doesn’t fancy going to Old Trafford, he could end up across town in the blue side of Manchester just like his dad.


Alf-Inge Haaland was famously captain of City during their days at Maine Road and was on the receiving end of a horror tackle from Roy Keane during a Manchester derby. Erling was born in Leeds and followed his dad to Manchester when he signed for City, and was reportedly a Man City fan growing up.

Pep Guardiola’s side are desperate for a new striker, with Sergio Aguero ageing and out of contract in the summer while Gabriel Jesus hasn’t shown the level required to take over the reigns on a full-time basis. City’s team score goals, so Haaland would certainly enjoy himself with the quality of player around him.


Just… hear me out. Believe it or not, Cristiano Ronaldo cannot play on forever. The Portuguese forward still has a contract that runs until 2022, but what better way to plan for replacing the greatest goalscorer in football history than with the best young striker in the game?

With Paulo Dybala’s future also up in the air, Juventus could go big in the market to bolster their attacking options and their reputation in the market precedes them. They have a great habit of signing top young players at a good price and if he did sign, Juventus have never been the type of club to stand in a player’s way if they want to leave either.

Italian football has seen veteran strikers like Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic tear it up in the last year or so, so imagine what a young machine like Haaland would do? The fee and wages could be a hurdle for them and thus make a move unlikely but never say never with the Old Lady.


Obvious transfers are obvious, right? When Borussia Dortmund, or any German club for that matter, have a top talent on their books it’s Bayern Munich that have dibs on signing them.

Borussia Dortmund v FC Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga : News Photo

The best team in Germany by a distance currently have Robert Lewandowski at the peak of his powers, but the Pole will be 33 by the time the new season starts. While he’s likely to be able to continue at the top level for another year or two at least, if the big boys start circling around Haaland then they could be forced to make the move early.

Haaland and Lewandowski are physically very similar and the 20-year-old has already proven that he can score goals for fun in the Bundesliga and in Europe. If would be a ready-made replacement for Lewandowski and with Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman around him in the Bayern side he would be Europe’s top marksman for the next decade if he wanted to be.

Are England Rushing Jude Bellingham Into Senior Side?

England have announced that Jude Bellingham will join up with the senior national team during this international break.

Bellingham, 17, wasn’t initially involved in the squad but after Trent Alexander-Arnold and James Ward-Prowse pulled out through injury manager Gareth Southgate has opted to draft in the youngster.

After joining Borussia Dortmund in the summer, Bellingham has featured fairly regularly for the Bundesliga side this season. He has featured in five league games as well as all three Champions League games grabbing an assist in both competitions. He also scored his only goal of the season so far in the DFB Pokal Cup.

The decision to pull him from the Under-21’s squad and place him in the senior side sparked a lot of debate on social media. Some believe that it’s a good decision, with his obvious talent lacking in the senior side anyway. Others believe that the move is too early and unnecessary, with more senior players more deserving of a spot in the squad.

So which is true? The reality is it’s both.

Having completed 90 minutes just once this season for Dortmund, Bellingham wasn’t even under consideration for the senior squad. He was called up to Under-21’s and was expected to feature prevalently during their qualifiers during this break. Instead, he’ll now likely play a handful of minutes at most.

At 17 years old, he is already playing way above his age bracket. Regular minutes at a top side in European football, with Champions League football is already a huge jump up from where a regular 17 year old would be playing their football.

Pushing him into the senior side doesn’t really do anything either. He likely won’t play much and therefore will lose out on development time. We’ve also seen in recent weeks that the media have no problem with making a young player a target in the press.

Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden were the latest targets, with Greenwood left out of this squad as Manchester United want to protect him from the limelight.

On the other hand Bellingham will be around older players who are better and more developed than him to help him progress more. He will see how the senior squad do things and will get to start building a relationship with Southgate.

It gives him a chance to make an impression on the management team and the senior players and stake his claim for a position in the squad for Euro 2020 next summer.

While players such as Ross Barkley and James Maddison will feel a way about being overlooked despite the injuries, if they continue to perform to the standard they have been so far this season then Southgate will surely want to take another look at them before he has to make a final decision on his squad.

If Bellingham struggles at the higher level, there’s nothing to prevent him going back down to the Under-21’s in the future too. At the end of the day, he’s been called up because of several players ahead of him in the pecking order being unavailable and Southgate’s policy of replacing them with players in the youth setup rather than elsewhere.

Wherever you stand on the matter, it will no doubt be interesting to see such a talented young player playing at the highest level.

Jadon Sancho for €120million – Deal or No Deal?

As the summer transfer window hots up again, fans are at the stage of debating transfer fees once again.

Kai Havertz for £80million, Nathan Ake for £41million, Thiago for £27million, are they good fees or are they overpriced. The big one though, is Jadon Sancho for a reported €120million from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United.

At 20 years old with two years left on his contract, Sancho has reportedly made the decision to return to England for regular football amid homesickness. He has plenty of suitors but only one club willing to go anywhere near Dortmund’s asking price.

Online there is plenty of debate about whether or not United should go close to that fee, with many citing other options being available for a lesser fee. There have been calls for Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish, Marcus Edwards of Vitoria De Guimaraes, Jeremie Boga of Sassuolo and Ousmane Dembele of Barcelona. One issue with all of those alternatives? None of them are as good or have as many upsides as Jadon Sancho.

20 goals and 20 assists in all competitions last season for Dortmund, Sancho has exploded onto the European mainstream and at 20 years old he’s even more exciting because of the level he could reach. He can play all the way across the front three, can beat players one on one with skill and dribbling ability and also has an eye for the killer pass or goal.

Another thing that should be considered is that Sancho is English. After coming through the Watford and Manchester City academies, Sancho would count towards the homegrown quota. This could be something important for United, with the level of departures expected this summer being largely part of this quota also. Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are all linked with an exit and all count towards the homegrown quota, meaning United could do with an extra first-teamer or two in that department.

Most importantly in my opinion though, is that you have to pay the price for quality. When factoring in age, current ability, potential, attributes and positional versatility there is literally nobody on the planet who is a more perfect fit for what Ole Gunnar Solskjær is trying to build at Old Trafford. Couple that in with the Red Devils’ known wealth and Dortmund’s known stance for selling for a premium price mean you have to expect to pay top dollar.

Reports in recent days suggest a fee has been partially agreed with Manchester United agreeing to pay €60million (£54.1million) up front with a further €60million in instalments over the length of the contract. The important word there is ‘instalments’, meaning the full fee would be guaranteed to Dortmund over a certain period of time rather than needing specific targets to be met.

While €120million may seem steep right now for a guy with just two full seasons of first team football to his name, the fee only looks bad if the player doesn’t perform. If Sancho lives up to the hype and helps to solve United’s issues on the wing then nobody will be talking about the fee in a few years time. Pay the money for the quality you want.

Where Will Wilfried Zaha End Up?

Premier League season over, transfer window open, Wilfried Zaha wants to leave Crystal Palace. Nothing new there then.

The Ivory Coast international has been linked with a move away from Selhurst Park every summer for as long as I can remember, but he’s always been priced out of a move elsewhere because he manages to keep Palace in the Premier League.

A move to Tottenham was denied when they wouldn’t meet the asking price, while Everton had a £70million bid rejected last summer because Roy Hodgson’s side were holding out for £80million. Arsenal were also interested but instead opted for Nicolas Pepe for a similar fee but one they could pay in instalments instead of cash up front to a fellow Premier League side.

After once again helping Palace stay in England’s top division, Roy Hodgson revealed immediately after the game that Zaha has once again made it clear to the club that he wants to leave South London.

It’s obviously affected him because his form in the last few weeks has really been quite poor considering what he is capable of doing.

“It’s a dilemma for the club and a dilemma for him if he is so set on leaving. If he feels he just does not want to be with us any more, that would be sad.

“We still like him very much; we can’t make him like us. This is a situation that only he and the club can sort out. I don’t have an answer.

Reports suggest that Palace will maintain their £80million asking price, but with the COVID-19 pandemic still rife across the world, it’s highly expected that transfer fees will radically drop from the norm this summer.

Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League : News Photo
Could Zaha and Kane be teammates next season?

Plenty of clubs, including Palace, have seen a huge drop in income due to the lack of fans at games. This means clubs need money from player sales but also that clubs have less to spend to bring those players in. Top clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona have already publicly ruled out big money signings this summer, citing the fact they had to ask players to take a pay-cut as the main reason.

If Zaha is as intent on leaving the club this summer as Hodgson says he is, there is no way on Earth they fetch £80million for him. He’s now 27 years old and wants to challenge for titles and play in Europe. Crystal Palace cannot offer him that and he has been as professional as possible during his time at the club despite never being allowed to leave.

Borussia Dortmund could look to bring him in as a replacement for Manchester United target Jadon Sancho, although they are also linked with Jeremie Boga who fits their model of signing younger players much more than a big-money signing like Zaha does. Another option for the former Manchester United man is if Tottenham reignite their interest.

Jose Mourinho was able to bring in Steven Bergwijn in January to boost their attacking options after losing Christian Eriksen. With Heung-Min Son, Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura also options for Spurs, Zaha would likely not be an immediate option for strengthening. However long-standing interest and the fact that Lamela is now 28 years old and has two years left on his contract. Zaha would be an upgrade on Lamela and it means the Argentine could look to move on.

Everton could also look to reignite their interest but with Carlo Ancelotti now in charge, it’s unknown if he is still a target for the Goodison Park side.

The reality is that options are slim for Zaha this summer, but it’s the perfect time for him to leave. He’s kept Palace safe, they need the extra funds after this pandemic and clubs will be willing to sign him for a lower fee than what Palace initially demanded for him.

It’s just a case of who wants him the most now.

Why Jude Bellingham Is Right To Choose Dortmund over Manchester United

After losing out to Borussia Dortmund for striker Erling Haaland in January, Manchester United could be about to lose another starlet to Germany.

According to reports by ESPN, Birmingham City midfielder Jude Bellingham has decided to move to the Bundesliga over Old Trafford this summer. Borussia Dortmund will reportedly pay a fee of around £20 million for the 16 year old wonderkid.

Manchester United had been strongly linked with a move for Bellingham, with many seeing his transfer as United returning to their previous transfer strategy of snapping up the best of young, British talent. However, his decision to go to Germany instead will be a massive blow to Ole Gunnar Solskjær who reportedly had big plans for him.

While the move is a blow for The Red Devils, it’s not hard to see exactly why Bellingham has made the decision he’s made.

Bellingham will turn 17 years old on June 29th. For someone so young, he has already made 33 league appearances for Birmingham, including 70 minutes in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with West Brom. He literally has the entirety of his career in front of him. There is no rush whatsoever for the big move to come now.

Whilst a club with the size and reputation of Manchester United will undoubtedly be the goal for Bellingham’s career trajectory, it doesn’t have to happen right now. The Old Trafford side currently have central midfield options including Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Fred, Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay and are being linked with Donny Van de Beek and Jack Grealish. Regardless of your thoughts on those midfielders, Bellingham would almost certainly be behind them all in the pecking order. He’s also far too good for U23 level football already.

At Dortmund, he would have seen countless young players make their breakthroughs over the years. Players such as Mario Götze, Jadon Sancho, Erling Haaland, Christian Pulisic, Ousmane Dembele have made their breakthrough to European elite at Dortmund and they continue to give young players a chance, with 17 year-old Giovani Reyna making his first Bundesliga start this past weekend.

Borussia Dortmund Marbella Training Camp - Day 7 : News Photo
Haaland and Sancho are two of the latest in the long line of talents being developed at Borussia Dortmund

They play an attractive brand of attacking football, score lots of goals, trust youth players and are in the Champions League most seasons – something Manchester United can no longer guarantee. While Bayern Munich have won the last eight consecutive Bundesliga titles, it is Dortmund that always run them closest.

Another thing to consider is that Dortmund are always happy to sell a player if the price is right. While they’ve helped to develop an abundance of talent in their club, they’ve always been willing sellers if the player wants to move on. Robert Lewandowski went to Bayern Munich on a free transfer with Dortmund’s best wishes, Ousmane Dembele was allowed to leave for £135.5 million to Barcelona as a Neymar replacement, Erling Haaland was signed with the agreement in place that a release clause will become active in his contract after his first 18 months are done.

While some may see it as a stepping-stone mentality, Dortmund use it as a way to strengthen their squad repeatedly via generating money but also discovering top talent.

On top of all of that, Bellingham will have far less pressure on his head. A decent sized fee will surely mean he has eyes on him, but at 17 years old most of Germany will know he isn’t the finished article. Signing for a club like Manchester United at that age, if he doesn’t hit the ground running he’ll instantly be seen as a flop.

For Bellingham he goes to a club where he’ll play more, with less pressure, in a team that attacks constantly and scores a bucket load of goals. He’ll play next to top players, in a top league, with Champions League football near enough guaranteed every season. He’ll also likely still be a target for Manchester United in years to come if he continues to develop at his current rate and as we’ve already established, Dortmund will have no issue selling up if their price is met.

The world is quite literally at the feet of Jude Bellingham now and he should find comfort in the fact that on the face of it, he’s made the right decision for his career.

What is Jadon Sancho’s Best Move?

Despite Covid-19 and rearranged football schedules, it always seems to be transfers that are the top story in football. That won’t change this summer, as Jadon Sancho is set to dominate the headlines during the “summer” transfer window this post-season.

Sancho, 19, is set to be the centre of a tug-of-war between Europe’s biggest clubs as Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Barcelona, Real Madrid and PSG are all interested in England’s electric winger.

While Borussia Dortmund are calm about the situation, claiming that they are aware of the interest and won’t sell for less than their asking price just because of the Covid-19 pandemic. That asking price is reportedly €130 million, around £115 million, which has already got some clubs doubling back a little.

Real Madrid have already claimed behind the scenes that there will be no big signings at the Bernabeu this summer as they prioritise their finances and sales to generate cash. Barcelona’s cash problems are well known so he isn’t a priority for them either. PSG would be interested if a move to Spain materialises for either Neymar or Mbappe, but for the reasons already mentioned that seems unlikely too. That leaves the four English sides to battle it out for his signature.

Liverpool are likely to be out of the race, considering they look certain to miss out on Timo Werner to Chelsea due to the finances of the deal. It could be that the club have pulled out of the Werner deal to ensure they can compete for Sancho, although that seems unlikely. Manchester City have come back into the race, with Sky Sports reporting that Sancho is open to returning to the Etihad Stadium after three years in Germany.

The real battle seems to between Chelsea and Manchester United. United are the most interested and according to most are willing to pay the highest fee to Dortmund, but they think the current asking price is too high. Another option would of course be for Sancho to stay in the Bundesliga for another year, which would leave him with one-year left on his contract going into next summer’s transfer window.

But what would Sancho’s best option be? He’s not short of them but which one would actually suit him the most and be best for his development?

At Manchester United, he walks straight into the starting line-up and improves the side immediately. On the right-wing, you would imagine he partners Anthony Martial and England team-mate Marcus Rashford in attack while being serviced from midfield by Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and potentially Donny Van de Beek. A solid attack for a team looking to get back to the head of the table in English football. The issue here is that United’s manager isn’t setting the world alight. There are many question marks about his ability at the top level and even with the Red Devils pressing for the Champions League places, his performance this season has been well below par for many fans.

England v Czech Republic - UEFA EURO 2020 Qualifier : News Photo
Sancho and Hudson-Odoi are childhood friends – link up in London?

At Chelsea, he’d have more competition for his place. He’d also likely get put out onto the left wing, which wouldn’t be a problem for him at all. A new look attack of Werner, Ziyech and Sancho would do much to excite the fans and push Chelsea towards the title. It would also mark a return home for Sancho, who was born in London. A young English core is coming through at Stamford Bridge, with a lot of Sancho’s good friends at the club. Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori are all close to Sancho and could help to persuade him to exchange his yellow shirt for a blue one.

At Manchester City, you’d assume Sancho would come in as a direct replacement for Leroy Sane should the German complete an expected move to Bayern Munich. For the price he’d demand, you’d expect him to go straight into the line-up but he’d face stiff competition from Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva and even potentially Phil Foden in the wide positions. While you’d assume that he would be first choice because of the fee, Guardiola is known to rotate a lot with the options he has so that could see his game-time diminish. Not to mention that he has previously clashed with manager Pep Guardiola over game-time, which ultimately led to his decision to leave the Citizens and go to Dortmund.

Looking at the options it’s a tough decision for Sancho. He’d arguably have a better time at Chelsea with his friends and they’re building a squad to compete for trophies again. However the style of play that Ole Gunnar Solskjær is implementing at Old Trafford suits him more. The quick transition play is something that Dortmund are so good at and has helped Sancho achieve 17 goals and 16 assists in the league this season. Ultimately, both sides are on their way up the football pyramid once again and the race for the Champions League spots could be the deciding factor on where Jadon Sancho ends up next season.