Like PSG, the German team is in tactical break-in at the dawn of the round of 16 first leg of the Champions League between the two teams.
In Dortmund, the last “Klassiker” has left its mark. Scattered 4-0 at Allianz Arena on November 9 by a brace from Robert Lewandowski (17e, 76e), a goal by Serge Gnarbry (47e) and another against his camp of Mats Hummels (80e), the BVB has since questioned itself. Lucien Favre put aside his balance 4-2-3-1, to capitalize on the imbalance inherent in his squad with a 3-4-3 highlighting the rich and varied qualities of his attack.
Replaced closer to the axis, the British nugget Jadon Sancho (19), scored 6 goals in six days in this system, against 4 on the first 12. His counterpart on the left, Thorgan Hazard (26), went from simple to triple over this period. Still on the wings, the attacking sides, which are Nico Schulz, Achraf Hakimi and Raphaël Guerreiro, can now fully assume their natural offensive inclinations, while being covered. In addition, the weak sector, which was the defensive axis, is now more stocked.
Defend on a nine and a half, the tactical flaw of PSG
But the biggest change is likely to be the advanced attacker position. It was therefore occupied by Captain Marco Reus, who therefore worked in a “nine and a half” role. A receding position that combines creation with finish and that fits like a glove to the talented German. So much so that in this 3-4-3, Dortmund only lost once in the league (2-1 to Hoffenheim) and that day his number 11 was forfeited. With Marco Reus, Dortmund is new with old.
Not a trivial deal for PSG if we refer to its reception of AS Monaco (3-3) on January 12. In a register quite similar to the Marco Reus of the last few months – namely a constant dezoning, either between the central and the defensive midfielders to organize the game of his team, or on the sides to allow the wing players to dive into the axis -, Wissam Ben Yedder had offered a small recital (1 goal and 1 assist), leaving Marquinhos in particular to his doubts. A profile that is reminiscent, too, of Karim Benzema with Real Madrid. And, there again, the latter had shone against Paris by achieving the double last November 26 (2-2, final score).
However, the situation of the Schwarz-Gelben (Black and Yellow in French) is not frozen in attack. Comet Erling Braut Haaland arrived on 1st January for 20 million euros and scored a triple in 34 minutes spent on the meadow on the 18th. Its 31e in 23 appearances this season (which makes a goal every 48 minutes, anyway).
Clearly, the cards could be reshuffled by the first round of the double confrontation between Borussia Dortmund and PSG on February 18. The Norwegian being an attacker with a profile much more consistent with that of a 9 (most of the time in the area and in contact with opposing central), we can think, that at least tactically, its management would be easier than that of Reus. Without going so far as to imagine that the transfer of a boy who weighs 38 goals (31 goals, 7 assists) to the German team is good news for the men of Thomas Tuchel.