The Westphalians led by their inspirational coach Jurgen Klopp will resume their European journey after the heartbreak in last season’s Champions League final.
BVB caused a series of upsets including the 4-1 mauling of Spanish giants Real Madrid to secure a place in the competition’s final last season where they were defeated by Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich.
Before Klopp’s side could enter Wembley for one of their biggest encounters, BVB fans were acquainted with gruesome news as Dortmund’s golden boy Mario Gotze decided to make a switch to rivals Bayern after his release clause was met.
However Die Borussen have been unaffected by the departure of their star man with new signings Henrik Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang taking the German league by storm.
Aubameyang is the league’s top scorer with five goals to his name with Mkhitaryan not far in the list of top scorers having notched three goals in the Bundesliga. Both men will be Dortmund’s most dangerous players and the Italian side will have to be wary of Aubameyang’s electric pace and Mkhitaryan’s creativity which could really harm Napoli in Wednesday’s tie.
Much for Dortmund’s transfers, Napoli themselves were one of the busiest sides in the recently concluded transfer window having added no less than ten new players to their ranks. The most prolific of these signings is Argentinean star Gonzalo Higuaín, whose acquisition caused the Italian side a hefty 37 million euros.
Whereas the new signings will definitely strengthen a Napoli squad which has been challenging for the Serie A title for quite some time now, it is a familiar face which has been the team’s inspiration so far.
Slovakian international Marek Hamsik who began his seventh year with the Italian side has been one of the most consistent players for Napoli over the years. The 26 year old has put inspirational performances this season having already scored four goals for his side in the Serie A and will be looking to make the difference when his side faces Klopp’s men.
What goes in Rafa Benitez’s favour is Dortmund’s record against Italian sides which has been quite poor. In the 27 matches they have played BVB have lost 14 of these matches and won only nine.
Napoli on the other hand have not lost at home this year, winning 10 of the 12 matches they have played on the home turf.
Both teams come into Wednesday’s match in superb forms and top of the league in their respective countries. But the fact that they have been drawn in the most difficult group of this year’s Champions League, both managers will know that Group F will definitely be difficult to top something which was echoed by the Dortmund manager.
"I think this is going to be the most exciting group, and we're part of it," said Klopp
"I don't think there is a favourite in this group at all.
"All four sides could go through and all four could not even make the Europa League, that's the way it is.
Whereas Benitez will have the luxury to choose from an injury free squad, Dortmund will have to do without Ilkay Gundogan, Sebastian Kehl and Lukasz Piszczek.
Napoli vs Dortmund live on Wednesday, September 18, 2013:
Internationally at 18:45 GMT on: UEFA Match Centre (live stream)
In UK at 19:45 BST on: Sky Sports Red Button
Fans in other parts of the world can watch the match live on their local channels. Those in Australia can watch the match live on SBS One Australia.
For complete details of match listings and live scores, visit the Napoli vs Dortmund match page.
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