Preview: Legia Warszawa vs Dortmund

Poland’s first UEFA Champions League representatives in 20 years, Legia Warszawa, kick off their European campaign with a Group F home fixture against Borussia Dortmund.

UEFA Champions League
14 September 2016
Kick-off 20:45

Venue: Pepsi Arena

Referee: S. Karasev
Assistants: A. Averianov, T. Kalugin
Fourth official: I. Demeshko

Head-to-head summary:

Dortmund 1 1 0 0
Legia 1 0 0 1

Previous encounter:

Legia Warszawa 0-1 Dortmund – Friendly (29/07/2012)

Dortmund goal-scorer: R. Lewandowski (4′)

Players to watch:

Hungary international Nemanja Nikolic is set to lead the line for the hosts – the prolific striker has scored nine goals in 14 games across all competitions for Legia this term.

Five of the goals came during the qualification process towards the Champions League group stages. Nikolic’s robust style of play and ability to run beyond the defence through small pockets of space makes him a dangerous outlet on the counter.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be Dortmund’s main threat with his blistering pace and finishing ability, having already hit a rich vein of form with two goals in two games.

Last season the Gabon international scored 11 goals in 14 European outings for Thomas Tuchel’s side.

Team form and quotes:

Legia are five games without a win on home turf in all competitions and eight league games into this campaign they sit in a disappointing 13th spot.

With just 18 goals from 16 games in 2016/17, they will need to be defensively resilient at home to have any chance of gaining a victory against the Bundesliga giants.

The Warsaw outfit have already used 28 different players in the league this season, with only goalkeeper Arkadiusz Malarz featuring in all eight matches.

Jestesmy po ostatnim treningu przed Liga Mistrzów UEFA! #legia #legiawarszawa #RazemWsródMistrzów

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Dortmund come into the fixture in eighth position in the league after two games, having lost 1-0 this weekend to newly-promoted RB Leipzig.

A improved performance will be expected from the visiting support and Tuchel as they look to prove their European title credentials first up in the group phase.

Speaking about Wednesday’s clash, Poland and Dortmund defender Lukasz Piszczek told reporters: “I can’t wait for this game. There is always a good atmosphere at the Legia stadium.

“I have good memories from this place as some years ago I secured here the title with Zaglebie Lubin in the last game of the season. But of course that belongs to the past. I played as an attacker then and even had an assist in that game.”

Team news:

Marco Reus (adductor), Neven Subotic (ribs) and Erik Durm (knee) are long-term injury absentees for the visitors.

André Schürrle withdrew from Germany’s friendly against Finland and the 2018 World Cup qualifier in Norway due to a back problem but started in Dortmund’s 1-0 loss in Leipzig.