Manchester City will seal top spot in Group G of the Champions League if they can avoid defeat away to Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.
The hosts, meanwhile, need two more points to be certain of progressing to the knockout stages, although a draw against the English champions would be enough to do so should Sevilla beat Copenhagen in the other match in the group.
Dortmund should head into their meeting against Pep Guardiola’s side filled full of confidence having thrashed Stuttgart 5-0 in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Jude Bellingham – who joined Kylian Mbappe and Erling Braut Haaland as the only teenagers to have scored in four successive Champions League matches by notching against Sevilla last time out in Europe – bagged a brace during the domestic victory, with Niklas Sule, Giovanni Reyna and Youssoufa Moukoko also on the scoresheet.
Sitting five points ahead of Sevilla and Copenhagen in second position in Group G ahead of their huge test against Man City on Tuesday, Edin Terzic’s side have done the hard part in terms of ensuring they reach the knockout stages of Europe’s elite competition for the fourth time in five seasons.
However, another defeat to the Citizens could potentially make their trip to Copenhagen next week a nervy one depending on how their two rivals in the group fare against each other this week, meaning Terzic’s players will be doing everything in their power to wrap things up with one game to spare.
Likewise, Man City know that they will top their Champions League group for the sixth successive season by avoiding defeat in Dortmund on Tuesday.
Having already beaten them at the Etihad Stadium courtesy of Haaland’s late acrobatic volley against his former side last month, BVB would not be able to overtake their opponents should they fail to beat them at the Westfalenstadion.
Guardiola’s side cut the gap to Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table to only one point after beating Brighton & Hove Albion 3-1 on Saturday, with Haaland bagging himself yet another brace to extend his domestic tally to 17 goals in 11 matches, before Kevin De Bruyne sealed all three points with a stupendous effort from distance.
Haaland will be determined to impress at his former stomping ground on Tuesday, and it would take a very brave man to bet against him scoring against them once again, especially with so much still to play for.
Dortmund were forced to substitute Nico Schlotterbeck during the second half against Stuttgart due to a calf injury, with the Germany defender unlikely to recover in time to face Man City on Tuesday.
Thomas Meunier, Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, Mateu Morey, Mahmoud Dahoud and Sebastien Haller are all ruled out, but Terzic will hope to have Donyell Malen and Marco Reus available again after the duo missed the weekend’s vitory due to illness and a knock respectively.
Former Liverpool midfielder Emre Can is likely to come into the starting XI in place of Salih Ozcan, who is suspended having amassed three bookings in four European appearances.
Man City will travel without Sergio Gomez due to suspension after the Spaniard was sent off against Copenhagen in his side’s last European match.
England internationals Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips remain sidelined through injury as they race to return to full fitness ahead of next month’s World Cup, but John Stones returned to his side’s matchday squad at the weekend and will hope to be involved.
Likewise, club captain Ilkay Gundogan was an unused substitute against Brighton and may start against his former club, with Phil Foden, Nathan Ake and Julian Alvarez all hoping for starting berths.
Borussia Dortmund possible starting lineup:
Kobel; Wolf, Sule, Hummels, Guerreiro; Can, Bellingham; Adeyemi, Brandt, Malen; Moukoko
Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Akanji, Dias, Ake, Cancelo; Rodri, Gundogan; Silva, De Bruyne, Foden; Haaland