Borussia Dortmund’s season of promise is threatening to fall apart as they head into the crucial clash with Serie A side Napoli, with the 11/2 on the away win attracting attention from punters this week.
Jurgen Klopp’s side slipped to third in the Bundesliga table after losing 3-0 at home to Bayern Munich at the weekend, their second successive domestic defeat.
The loss left them seven points behind their rivals and already hopes of a title are evaporating around the Westfalenstadion.
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To compound matters, a defeat against Napoli on Tuesday would end their hopes of reaching the knockout stages.
The club are currently third in the group on six points, three behind leaders Arsenal and Tuesday’s opponents, and according to their goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller, Dortmund need to be more clinical if they are to advance.
“We are lacking in determination, a sense of purpose,”
“We take too long to finish off a move. We pass it across instead of going straight for goal.”
“Nothing has been decided yet, neither in the league nor in Europe. But Tuesday`s game is more crucial than against Bayern. We have to win at home and we need to use our chances because games are won by scoring goals.”
Klopp is hoping that there is no hangover from the Bayern game and that his side are still in contention for qualification come the final game with Marseille.
“I told my team after the Bayern game that they have five minutes to be depressed and then just get up and keep going,” said Klopp
“We have to think of the next game, draw the right conclusions and be more clear in our game. We want to have a final in Marseille (in our last group game).”
Manuel Friedrich, signed last week as defensive cover after injuries to Mats Hummels, Neven Subotic and Marcel Schmelzer,is not eligible to play against Napoli however right back Lukasz Piszczek will feature after featuring the weekend.
Napoli will head into the game in equally despondent mood after they too suffered their second successive domestic defeat. Following on from their 3-0 loss to Juventus, Rafa Benitez side went down to a surprise 1-0 defeat at home to Parma.
Benitez has a major worry ahead of the game with attacker Marek Hamsik a doubt after limping off 10 minutes after coming on with a foot injury.
Benitez rested a number of players for the clash with Parma but rather than blame his rotation policy for the defeat, the Spaniard pointed the figure at the International break.
“We made too many mistakes but it is difficult to work well in such a short space of time,” he said.
“I don`t believe that my team lacks enthusiasm, though. The problem is we couldn`t work the way we wanted to, the players got together on Friday after their international matches, it`s not easy.”
“We lost the ball too easily, allowed too much space on the counter and wasted a few opportunities going forward with Gonzalo Higuain and Goran Pandev.
“I wasn`t surprised by Borussia`s defeat to Bayern. I was more concerned with our result than Borussia`s. We are already concentrating on the next match.”