The defence of the UEFA Champions League begins tomorrow night at Signal Iduna Park with the visit of Spanish side Valencia, who finished fourth in La Liga last season, and beat Ajax 4-3 on aggregate to book their place in the group last month.
After Sunday’s defeat at home in the Borussen Derby, Dortmund manager Gray Surman is likely to ring the changes with Marcel Schmelzer set to come back in at left-back, with Lewandowski, Perisic and Schürrle all tipped for returns to the starting XI.
Slaven Bilic’s Valencia will arrive in Germany with Sergio Canales, but will give the midfielder a late fitness test as he recovers from a rib injury obtained in the weekend’s 2-2 draw with Barcelona, but the rest of the squad are reportedly fully-fit for the clash.
Saturday’s draw gave them only their second point of the season, after back-to-back- defeats to Getafe and Sevilla followed an opening day goalless draw with Hércules. They didn’t fare much better in pre-season, losing at Fiorentina, Stuttgart, and Arsenal, before a win over Hoffenheim.
The club are back in the Group Stage after settling for Europa League action last season where they progressed ahead of Anji Makhachkala and SV Mattersburg in the group, before defeat by Fiorentina in the last 32.
Tomorrow’s referee is Mark Clattenburg from England who’ll be taking charge of his 15th match of the season. He’s issued 30 cautions and one red card – a 5th minute dismissal for Zilina defender Peter Baran – so far, pointing to the penalty spot five times (4-1 in favour of the home side). He’s not taken charge of Dortmund, but has refereed Valencia once, their 4-0 Champions League win over Nordsjælland in 2012.
It’s the first time that the sides will have met in competitive football.