Champions-League Try No. 2
Three reigning champions of the three best European football leagues, plus the champion of the Dutch league. In words: Real Madrid, Manchester City, Ajax Amsterdam and Borussia Dortmund. A group constellation that has never been there before in history. Operation “last 16” starts tomorrow evening with the home match against traditional club Ajax Amsterdam. A loss against the Dutchmen would probably be synonymic with an early elimination.
Fortunately the Black and Yellow leadership does not waste much thought on the mentioned scenario. Jürgen Klopp only feels “a thrill of anticipation and goosebumps” when asked about the upcoming opponents. According to him “it's an success to be within this group. Now we want to reach something and represent the club in a positive way. We don't travel to Manchester and Madrid to exchange jerseys!” CEO Watzke even found heroic words: “Within such a group heroes are born. We want to reach the knockout phase!” Similar to the leading persons, skipper Sebastian Kehl said about the upcoming tasks: “This group is wicked! There are not much opponents that are stronger than Madrid and Manchester.” All in all: Borussia Dortmund is confident.
Talking too much about the previous Champions-League season would make no sense at all. Way too naive were the performances of our “Young Guns”. I have no doubt that this behavior will not appear again. Nevertheless a lot of experience was gathered. But first of all let's have a look on our Dutch opponent, AFC Ajax.
The Dutch record champion wants to hibernate within international championships, whether Champions-League or Europa League seems to be secondary. The team of coach Frank de Boer is young and talented, a typical characteristic associated with Ajax. Much international experience is nevertheless scarce commodity. “No doubt, it would be nice to stay in the Champions-League until spring, but we have to look and see how realistic this will be. The pressure lies on the other teams, we have got nothing to lose.”, said de Boer after the group drawing. At the beginning of this campaign, Ajax lost three of its key players. Namely are these players Vurnon Anita, Jan Vertonghen and last but not least Gregory van der Wiel, who followed the power of money towards Paris. The 4-3-3 is the classical formation Amsterdam uses. Most of the attacks will probably realized via their wingers. In the meantime the start of the season was successful and AFC Ajax is ranked on the second place close behind the table-toppers from Enschede. But still the club that was founded in 1900 is a grab bag. We will see if they will be able to accomplish something special tomorrow.
Our beloved team seems to have arrived in the actual campaign, last weekend. With the confident victory against Bayer Leverkusen, our players should have gained enough confidence and trust in their own skills. Should the team around skipper Kehl be able to access the same performance like Saturday, a win in the opener becomes realistic. The time is now.. come on Borussia, make us proud again!
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels,
Schmelzer - Gündogan, Kehl - Blaszczykowski, Götze, Reus - Lewandowski.
Substitute's Bench: Langerak - Santana, Löwe, S. Bender, Leitner, Perisic, Großkreutz, Schieber.
AFC Ajax: Vermeer - van Rhijn, Alderweireld, Moisander, Blind - de Jong, Poulsen, Eriksen - Sana, Babel, Boerrigter.
Referee: Paolo Tagliavento (Italy)
Kickoff: 18th of September 2012 - 8.45. p.m. CET
Attendance: 65.829 (sold out)