Borussia Dortmund’s Quest for a UEFA Champions League Final

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In their tenth UEFA Champions League (UCL) appearance since 2012/13, Borussia Dortmund is just 180 minutes away from securing a spot in the final. However, their semi-final clash against Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) presents a tough challenge. Dortmund will be eager to gain an advantage in the first leg, but their recent home form in UCL knockout matches raises concerns. With only six wins from their last 12 matches (D1, L5), claiming victory may prove to be a tall order.

Preparations for this crucial match have been far from ideal for Dortmund. They suffered a 4-1 defeat to RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga on Saturday, effectively ending their chances of finishing in the top four. While a fifth-place finish could still secure a spot in next season’s tournament, winning the UCL this year guarantees a return in 2024/25. However, overcoming PSG will not be an easy task, as Dortmund failed to defeat them in the group stage earlier this season (D1, L1). Nevertheless, Dortmund has never lost to PSG at home in European competition (W1, D2).

On the other hand, PSG’s recent away record in Germany is not favorable (W1, D2, L4). They narrowly avoided a defeat to relegation-threatened Le Havre on Saturday, coming back from a 3-1 deficit to secure a 3-3 draw. This result prevented them from clinching the Ligue 1 title, but they eventually claimed their third-successive top-flight crown. PSG will be eager to avoid any hangover from the celebrations and approach this match with focus and determination.

While winning the Ligue 1 crown is often considered a formality for PSG, the UEFA Champions League has eluded them thus far. However, with the opportunity to reach their first European final since 2020, back-to-back away wins in the previous knockout rounds should give them the belief that they can achieve a positive result in the second leg.

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Players to Watch

One player to keep an eye on is Dortmund’s high-flying full-back, Ian Maatsen. He has been in excellent form, scoring in the quarter-finals and making the score 2-0 in his last four goalscoring appearances. However, PSG’s Kylian Mbappé cannot be underestimated. He scored a brace in the away legs of both the last 16 and quarter-finals, and he has the ability to cancel out Maatsen’s contributions.

Noteworthy Stat

A noteworthy statistic is that in 12 of PSG’s last 13 UCL away games, both teams have scored. This suggests that there is a high likelihood of goals being scored in this match, adding to the excitement and unpredictability of the encounter.

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