Borussia Dortmund will eye a strong home leg in the first meeting between the two sides in their history.

By 90Min
March 07, 2018

Borussia Dortmund are set to play RB Salzburg on Thursday at home in the round of 16 of the Europa League.

The Black and Yellows defeated Atalanta 4-3 on aggregate in the previous round. The Red Bulls beat Real Sociedad by the same scoreline to book their place in the last 16 of the competition.

The home side will be coming into this game in good form, unbeaten in all competitions in 2018, winning four games and drawing six. Their last defeat came at the hands of Bayern Munich in a 2-1 defeat in the DFB Cup towards the end of December.

RB Salzburg are in even better form than the hosts, with the side losing only one game all season. That defeat came back at the end of August, a 1-0 defeat to SK Sturm Graz in the Austrian Bundesliga. 

Here's everything you need to know ahead of the clash at the Westfalenstadion:

Previous Encounters

Thursday's Europa League match will be the first meeting between the two sides in their history.

The last time Borussia Dortmund played an Austrian team was back in 2015. They beat Wolfsberg 5-0 in the third round of qualifying for the Europa League, Marco Reus was among the scorers in that game.

RB Salzburg have played German sides eight times in the past, winning on just two occasions. They have also yet to win a match in Germany.

Key Battles

Michy Batshuayi vs Alexander Walke

Michy Batshuayi has been in sparkling form since moving on loan to Borussia Dortmund from Chelsea in January. He has appeared seven times for the club so far and scored five times, including against Atalanta in the Europa League round of 32.

The 24-year-old will be the Black and Yellows big goal threat heading into Thursday's game against RB Salzburg. 

He will most likely be up against Alexander Walke in the Red Bulls' goal. The goalkeeper has made eight Europa League outings this season and only conceded four goals. The 34-year-old will need to be in good form if he is going to stop Batshuayi. 

Munas Dabbur vs Roman Burki

Munas Dabbur is RB Salzburg's top scorer in the competition with four goals. He represents the biggest goal threat for his team. 

The Black and Yellows' goalkeeper Roman Burki conceded three goals against Atalanta in the previous round as his side narrowly progressed in the competition. He will need to be alert in this game if his team are going to pick up a positive result heading into the second leg. 

Team News

The home side currently have no new injury concerns heading into the first leg, with the likes of Marco Reus, Mario Gotze, Andre Schurrle and Michy Batshuayi all expected to start for Peter Stoger's side. 

For RB Salzburg, Duje Caleta-Car and Fredrik Gulbrandsen could return to the side after missing the previous game through suspension. But besides that, there is no other news for manager Marco Rose.

Potential Borussia Dortmund Starting Lineup: Burki; Piszczek, Sokratis, Toprak, Schmelzer; Weigl, Castro, Schurrle, Gotze, Reus; Batshuayi.

Potential RB Salzburg Starting Lineup: Walke; Lainer, Andre Ramalho, Caleta-Car, Ulmer; Yabo, Schlager, Samassekou, Berisha; GulbrandsenDabbur. 


Both Borussia Dortmund and RB Salzburg are heading into Thursday's game in very good form, but the front four of Reus, Gotze, Schurrle and Batshuayi for the Black and Yellows may prove to be too much in the end for the away side. 

However, the hosts have been leaking goals this season and that could open the door for RB Salzburg to get an away goal heading into the second leg.

Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 2-1 RB Salzburg 

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