Borussia Dortmund face a tense Group F finale against a Slavia side who have performed impressively on the road.
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Borussia Dortmund face a tense final day in Group F, and will be taking nothing for granted against a Slavia Praha side who have already earned two creditable away draws in the section.
• The German club have seven points – three of them thanks to a 2-0 win in the Czech Republic on Matchday 2 with a goal in either half from Achraf Hakimi (35, 89) – and are level with Internazionale but four points adrift of section winners Barcelona.
• Dortmund must pick up more points than Inter – who are at home to Barcelona on Matchday 6 – to finish second.
• Slavia have two points and will finish fourth, although they are unbeaten in their away games, those points having come from draws at Inter (1-1) and Barcelona (0-0).
• Dortmund have won only three of their last ten UEFA Champions League matches (D2 L5), including two this season: the success at Slavia on Matchday 2 and a 3-2 home defeat of Inter in the fourth round of fixtures. They drew 0-0 against Barcelona in their other home game, losing 2-0 at Inter and, in their last fixture, 3-1 at Barcelona.
• Second in the Bundesliga in 2018/19, this is Dortmund's 14th UEFA Champions League campaign; they were winners in 1997, and runners-up in 2013. BVB have reached the round of 16 in five of their last six participations.
• In last season's group stage, Lucien Favre's side kept three clean sheets at home in beating Monaco 3-0 and Atlético Madrid 4-0 before drawing 0-0 with Club Brugge. Dortmund conceded the fewest goals in the group stage (two) and kept the most clean sheets (five), but got no further than the last 16, losing both legs against Tottenham (0-3 a, 0-1 h).
• Despite two victories in their own stadium in the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League, Dortmund have now won only four of their last 12 European home matches (D3 L5).
• Dortmund are unbeaten in their last nine matches against Czech clubs, home and away (W6 D3), since a 3-1 home loss against Dukla Praha in the 1963/64 European Champion Clubs' Cup quarter-final second leg, although Dortmund still went through 5-3 on aggregate. That was their first fixture against a Czech side in Germany; their record since is W3 D1, with the most recent fixture, against Sigma Olomouc in the 2005 UEFA Intertoto Cup third round, ending 1-1; Dortmund went on to lose the tie on away goals.
• Slavia were denied three points at Inter on Matchday 1 by a late equaliser, and held Barcelona 0-0 in their fourth fixture, but at home they have lost all three games, going down to Dortmund, Barcelona (1-2) and, last time out, Inter (1-3).
• Champions of the Czech Republic for the second time in three years last season – their 18th domestic title – and also Czech Cup winners, completing their first double in the Czech Republic, Slavia successfully negotiated the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds for only the second time. Since their sole previous group appearance 12 years ago – when they finished third in their section behind Arsenal and Sevilla – the Prague club have lost in the preliminary rounds four times.
• Last season Slavia were beaten 3-1 on aggregate by Dynamo Kyiv in the third qualifying round (1-1 h, 0-2 a). Moving into the UEFA Europa League group stage, Jindřich Trpišovský's side finished second behind Zenit in their section and went on to get the better of Genk and Sevilla in the knockout rounds before losing 5-3 to eventual champions Chelsea over two games (0-1 h, 3-4 a) in the quarter-finals.
• Slavia entered this season's UEFA Champions League in the play-offs, where they beat Romania's CFR Cluj 1-0 both home and away. Before that tie, they had won only one of their last 15 matches in the UEFA Champions League (D7 L7).
• The Prague club picked up five points in their only previous UEFA Champions League group campaign, in 2007/08, four of them against Steaua București (2-1 h, 1-1 a); they also drew 0-0 at home against Arsenal.
• Slavia's away record in the UEFA Champions League group stage is D3 L2.
• Slavia have lost five of their six away games against German clubs, all without scoring, the exception a 2-1 win at Freiburg in the 1995/96 UEFA Cup first round first leg. They have lost their last four games in Germany, most recently going down 2-0 in Hamburg in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup group stage.
Links and trivia
• Slavia were 4-1 winners against a Nice side coached by Lucien Favre in a pre-season friendly in July 2017.
• As a player, Favre was in the Switzerland side that shared a 0-0 friendly draw against Czechoslovakia in Neuchatel. Ivo Knoflíček, now a youth coach at Slavia, was in the visitors' line-up.
• Mats Hummels scored Germany's winner in a 2-1 FIFA World Cup qualifying victory against the Czech Republic at Slavia's Eden Stadium on 1 September 2017. Jan Bořil and Tomáš Souček featured for the home side.
• Jadon Sancho made his first competitive start for England in a 5-0 defeat of the Czech Republic in the European Qualifiers on 22 March this year; Souček and substitutes Milan Škoda and Lukáš Masopust were in the visitors' team.
• Paco Alcácer scored Spain's winner in a 2-1 defeat of Romania in Bucharest on 5 September; Nicolae Stanciu featured for the home side.
• After three games without a victory, Dortmund won 2-1 at Hertha Berlin on 30 November despite playing 45 minutes with ten men after Mats Hummels had been sent off.
• Dortmund were 5-0 winners at home to Fortuna Düsseldorf on Saturday, Marco Reus and Jadon Sancho both scoring twice. They have scored in their last 32 home league matches, a club record, registering 92 goals during that run.
• Dortmund have 26 points from their first 14 Bundesliga games this season, ten less than at the same stage of 2018/19.
• Julian Weigl missed the Hertha game due to muscular problems, and was an unused substitute at the weekend.
• Jacob Bruun Larsen has been sidelined by a knee problem since scoring twice as Denmark beat Malta 5-1 in 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying on 19 November.
• Paco Alcácer's last appearance came on 22 November; he has been out due to illness, although he was an unused substitute against Fortuna.
• On 18 November Thomas Delaney had to be substituted 13 minutes into Denmark's decisive UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier away to the Republic of Ireland having suffered an ankle injury; the Danes drew 1-1 to reach next summer's finals, although Delaney has not played since.
• Marcel Schmelzer suffered a muscle injury on 1 December and will be out for the rest of the year.
• Having been unbeaten in 24 matches in all competitions (W19 D5) before the 2-0 home defeat by Dortmund on Matchday 2, Slavia have now lost four of their last 13 games, winning seven of the others including league victories at home against Karviná on 1 December (2-0) and, on Friday, at Slovan Liberec (3-0).
• Ladislav Takács scored his first Slavia goal against Karviná while Milan Škoda marked the 300th league start of his career with the second from the penalty spot in added time.
• Škoda was also on target at Slovan, when Ibrahim Traoré scored his first league goal since 24 August and midfielder Petr Ševčík made it three goals in his last five league matches.
• Slavia's record in the Czech First League this season is 16 wins and three draws, with 41 goals scored and only three conceded. They have kept 16 clean sheets.
• Goalkeeper Ondřej Kolář has kept 18 clean sheets in 24 Slavia appearances in all competitions this season. He made his debut for Czech Republic on 17 November in a 1-0 away defeat against Bulgaria in their final UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier.
• Tomáš Souček is Slavia's top scorer in the league with eight goals.
• Slavia, who had won the Czech Cup in each of the last two seasons, were eliminated from the 2019/20 competition in the last 16 after a 2-0 extra-time defeat away to Baník Ostrava on 30 October.
• David Hovorka damaged the cruciate ligament in his knee in Slavia's 1-0 away win against Viktoria Plzeň on 27 October; he has undergone surgery and is expected to be out for several months.