Borussia Dortmund will ensure they finish their UEFA Champions League group in first place if they can beat Lazio on Wednesday evening (21:00 CET). A draw would see the Black & Yellows stay top of the group and qualify for the last 16 with a match to spare.
BVB currently occupy top spot in group F with nine points – one ahead of Lazio (eight) – and have not dropped a point since their 3-1 loss in Rome on Matchday 1. "It was a match where our defending was lacking across the entire pitch. We were always one step too late," recalled midfielder Thomas Delaney as he reflected on the reverse fixture – in which he had to deputise in defence for the first time. "But it'll be a different game tomorrow. We know that Lazio have a good team. We believe we have a good chance despite the away defeat."
Dortmund made amends for that opening-day defeat by subsequently beating Zenit St. Petersburg and winning both games against FC Brugge. "We're the leaders of Group F and we want it to stay that way," declared head coach Lucien Favre, who continued: "Lazio are a dangerous team but we want to go through."
Lazio are yet to taste defeat in Group F. Having beaten BVB in their opening game, the Italians twice drew – against Brugge and Zenit – before winning their return fixture against the Russian outfit last week. On the domestic front, the capital club currently occupy ninth spot in Serie A. And like BVB, they will go into this match on the back of a home defeat after losing 3-1 against Udinese at the weekend.
The Black & Yellows have put their 2-1 defeat to Cologne on Saturday behind them. "That must not happen. But we can no longer change it and have to look forward," said Favre. "Now we're playing in the Champions League again. Our focus is now on tomorrow's game."
There are doubts surrounding the involvement of some of his defenders. Thomas Meunier, who had to be substituted off against Cologne with a calf injury, will definitely be unable to play. Emre Can, meanwhile, took a knock to his ankle. "It's difficult to say right now whether he can play," Favre explained. Raphael Guerreiro's chances look better. The Portugal international did not feature against Cologne but was able to train individually on Monday.