There's no Madrid and no London this season. Instead, BVB will be up against FC Barcelona for the first time ever in the UEFA Champion League. The clubs have previously met only once – though there are several parallels between them.
Last season, both clubs were eliminated from the competition by an eventual finalist: BVB lost to Tottenham Hotspur in the Round of 16, while Barça were beaten 4-3 on aggregate by Liverpool in the semi-finals.
The two teams have only previously faced each other once in a UEFA competition – the 1997 UEFA Super Cup, which was actually played over two legs at the start of 1998. Barcelona, who had won the European Cup Winners' Cup, emerged 2-0 victors over the reigning Champions League holders at the Nou Camp thanks to goals from Luis Enrique and Rivaldo (penalty). The second leg in Dortmund ended 1-1, with Barça opening the scoring on the six-minute mark and Jörg Heinrich levelling for the Black & Yellows after 64 minutes.
The pair are regular participants in the competition: this will be the eighth time BVB have been involved in the group stages in the last nine years (and the 14th in total); Barça are there for the 16th season in succession and the 24th in total, making them record participants along with Real Madrid.
Borussia Dortmund facts
- The Black & Yellows kept three clean sheets at home in the Champions League group stages last term: there were victories against AS Monaco (3-0) and Atlético Madrid (4-0), plus a goalless draw against Club Brugge. BVB conceded the fewest goals of all the participants in the group stages (two) and kept the most clean sheets as well (five). But they did subsequently lose both legs of their Round of 16 tie with Tottenham (3-0 away and 1-0 at home).
- The 2-0 loss to Atlético Madrid on Matchday 4 last term was BVB's first defeat in the competition that season and remains their most recent meeting with a Spanish club.
- Borussia Dortmund have only lost three of their 15 home games against Spanish opposition. There have been eight wins and four draws too. Five of the last seven home games have ended in victory (one draw, one defeat).
FC Barcelona facts
- Barcelona won the Spanish league for the 26th time in 2018/19; it was their fourth La Liga title in five years.
- The Catalans have always gone as far as the Round of 16 in the past 15 seasons. They have previously won the Champions League on five occasions – most recently in 2015.
- In the 2018/19 season, Barcelona finished on 14 points in Group B – ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, Inter Milan and PSV Eindhoven. They subsequently got the better of Olympique Lyon in the Round of 16 (0-0 draw away, 5-1 victory at home) and beat Manchester United in the quarter-finals (1-0 win away, 3-0 victory at home). Then, in the semi-final, they claimed a 3-0 first-leg victory over Liverpool, only to lose the return leg 4-0.
- The loss in Liverpool ended an 11-match unbeaten streak in the UEFA Champions League for the Blaugrana (eight victories and three draws).
- Barça have only won four of their past 13 away matches at European level (five draws and four defeats). Furthermore, they have only managed to claim victories on two of their past seven visits to Germany.
- Paco Alcácer made 37 La Liga appearances for Barcelona between 2016 and 2018, scoring 10 goals. He helped the Catalan giants win the Copa del Rey in his first season and the double in his second. Alcácer has netted in every single competitive game for club and country this term, scoring 10 goals in eight matches in total.
- Ousmane Dembélé made 32 Bundesliga appearances for BVB in the 2016/17 campaign, scoring six goals, and won the DFB Cup before departing for Barcelona. He has not played since 16 August due to a thigh injury.