Dortmund nurses a 3-2 advantage thanks to Michy Batshuayi's heroics in the first leg.

By 90Min
February 21, 2018

Borussia Dortmund travel to the Mapei Stadium to face Atalanta on Thursday in the second leg of their Europa League round of 32 tie. 

Die Schwarzgelben take a 3-2 lead heading into the fixture after a thrilling encounter at the Signal Iduna Park last week. Chelsea loanee Michy Batshuayi was the hero last week, and despite not scoring in the win over Borussia Mönchengladbach at the weekend, the Belgian will be keen to continue his good start to life in Germany with yet another goal on Thursday night.

As for Atalanta, with two away goals they will head into the game full of confidence as they know even a victory by a single goal will see them through to the next round.


Previous Encounter

Last weeks thrilling encounter was surprisingly the first match-up between the two sides in any European competition.

A revitalized Andre Schurrle opened the scoring for die Schwarzgelben, with the German grabbing his second goal of 2018.

The away side soon brushed away the disappointments of conceding early, and it wasn't long before they had control of the tie, with two quick fire goals from Josip Ilicic just after the halftime interval giving the Serie A side a 2-1 lead.

The arrival of Mario Gotze into the game sparked life into Dortmund and it was he who provided for Batshuayi to equalise superbly. In the dying moments of the game, it was the same two that combined to give Dortmund the win, as Gotze fed Batshuayi and the Belgian slid the ball past Etrit Berisha in the Atalanta goal.


Key Battles

Bryan Cristante vs Nuri Sahin

Bryan Cristante showed the footballing world why he is held in such a high regard last week, as he ran the Dortmund midfield ragged. The 22-year-old was in terrific form and Dortmund will need to keep the Italian quiet on Thursday if they are to proceed into the next round of the competition.

The man tasked with keeping Cristante quiet is Nuri Sahin, who is set to come in for the suspended Julian Weigl. A seasoned veteran at keeping opposition players quiet, Sahin will once again have his hands full on Thursday.

Josip Ilicic vs Jeremy Toljan

Ilicic had the beating of young Jeremy Toljan in last week's encounter, and it came as no surprise to see the big Slovenian get on the score-sheet. Toljan was at fault for the first goal last week, and will need to learn from his mistakes if Dortmund are to progress. 


Team News

Atalanta

No players missing for the Serie A club ahead of the fixture.

Borussia Dortmund

Weigl is suspended after picking up a yellow card last week. The injury list is still quite big for Dortmund with Andriy Yarmolenko and Maxi Philipp still sidelined.


Predicted Lineups

Atalanta (3-4-1-2): Berisha - Toloi, Caldara, Masiello - Hateboer, Roon, Freuler, Spinazzola - Cristante - Gomez, Ilicic.

Borussia Dortmund (4-2-3-1): Burki - Piszczek, Sokratis, Toprak, Toljan - Sahin, Castro - Schurrle, Gotze, Reus - Batshuayi.


Prediction

It will be a tough ask for Dortmund to keep a clean sheet away from home, but with the attacking prowess that they possess, it is hard to look past a win for the Bundesliga giants.

Atalanta 1-2 Borussia Dortmund

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