28 min: Schlotterbeck aims long in an attempt to release Adeyemi down the right touchline. Too long. Adeyemi can’t control and the referee blows for a hand ball. Dortmund are clearly targeting Hall down this right flank.
A strange goal, this. Dortmund barrel down the middle of the park, en masse. Adeyemi, Fullkrug and Sabitzer juggle the ball while never quite being in control. But Newcastle are all over the shop and fail to clear when presented with a couple of chances. Finally the ball’s slipped to Sabitzer on the right. Sabitzer enters the box and fires a low cross towards Füllkrug, who slams home from six yards.
24 min: Ryerson and Adeyemi combine down the left, the latter pulling back in the hope of finding Brandt on the edge of the D. Wilson is on point to intercept and clear. Newcastle have done well to quieten Dortmund down a bit.
22 min: A rare attack for Newcastle, as Willock looks long for Wilson with a cross from the left. Too much on the ball. Goal kick. But the move gives Newcastle succour, and Wilson is soon coming again down the right. His run wins a corner off Schlotterbeck. Trippier and Hall exchange cleverly from close range, but when the former’s sent into space long the byline, he fails to find anyone in green in the middle with his low cross. Nicely worked routine, though.
20 min: Brandt has the opportunity to send Sabitzer into acres of space down the right, but his pass is uncharacteristically careless, clanking straight at Lascelles. Newcastle fortunate that one didn’t come off; Sabitzer would have been sent clear.
18 min: Guimaraes looks for Trippier out on the right with a diagonal spray, but the ball flies straight into the stand. Trippier acknowledges the pass anyway, albeit with a frown. Newcastle are struggling to get out of their own half right now.
16 min: Sule and Sabitzer combine cutely down the inside-right channel. They cut back for Adeyemi, who sends a low diagonal screamer towards the bottom left. Pope parries well again; his defenders deal with the rebound again. Newcastle are suddenly hanging on a bit here.
15 min: Brandt is everywhere. Now he sets Adeyemi on the run down the right. Hall comes across and very carefully blocks his way. That’s decent defending, especially as he’s now tottering along the old disciplinary tightrope after that early yellow.
13 min: Dortmund stream down the middle of the park, some nice one-touch stuff. Finally Brandt cushions a pass into the road of Füllkrug, who pearls a shot towards the bottom left. Pope parries confidently and Newcastle clear the rebound.
11 min: Brandt takes the resulting free kick, swinging it in from the right. Hall compounds his error by slicing a clearance backwards and over the bar. Corner. Brandt to take this set piece as well. Joelinton clears, just after the ball brushes Longstaff’s arm. Dortmund claims but come off it. Neither referee nor VAR shows any interest, quite rightly so. Longstaff’s arm was right by his side.
9 min: Füllkrug barges his way down the right, chasing Brandt’s pass, and looks to have the beating of Hall. The young full-back panics, tugs the striker back, and that’s a booking that’ll make his evening’s work even harder.
8 min: Schlotterbeck plays a cute pass across the face of his own box. Too cute, really, and it nearly allows the hard-pressing Livramento to steal the ball. Not quite, but that was an unnecessary chance taken by Schlotterbeck and so nearly a gift for the Newcastle youngster.
7 min: Füllkrug spins Lascelles with ease under a high ball in the centre circle, and feeds Adeyemi, who in turn finds Brandt on the overlap down the inside-right channel. Brandt blasts wildly over the bar from the edge of the box. Newcastle were too easily turned around there.
6 min: Some head tennis in the Newcastle box, after which Trippier clears. Newcastle will be happy enough with this start.
5 min: Nmecha slips Adeyemi into space down the right, the latter winning a corner off Hall. Brandt to take.
4 min: Livramento backs himself in a foot race with Ryerson down the right and nearly wins it. The Dortmund full back gets to the ball just in time to clear. One Newcastle throw leads to another, then Livramento and Trippier confuse each other and the chance to keep Dortmund pinned back in the final third is gone.
2 min: Willock stays down for a worrying few seconds, Hummels having caught him on the ankle. Oh no, not yet another injury? But after a tense beat, he springs back up and is good to go. Eddie Howe breathes again.
1 min: The hosts are immediately on the front foot, Sabitzer failing to control on the edge of the Newcastle box. The visitors then counter, Willock blazing up the left wing only to be stopped unceremoniously by Hummels. A bright start.
News at 545. Dortmund get the ball rolling.
The teams are out! Borussia Dortmund in their famous yellow and black; Newcastle in cheeky second-choice green. A rare old atmosphere at the Westfalenstadion, the denizens of the Yellow Wall doing their thing; the 3,800 Toon fans lost amid an 80,000-strong attendance doing their best. We’ll be off once Uefa have trampled over George Frideric Handel’s grave.
Pre-match postbag. “Eddie Howe has dusted off a tribute the old WM formation with his use of 15 inverted full-backs in the starting XI. Anyway, all of these injuries have simply accelerated the inevitable process of Eddie going ‘full Pep’ and playing an unnecessarily complex system in a critical European fixture” – Chris Paraskevas
“James Corden gets everywhere, doesn’t he” – Shaun Tooze
Newcastle can’t really afford a defeat tonight. Should they lose this evening, they’d be properly up against it, three points behind Dortmund, who would have the head-to-head decider in their back pocket, and with a trip to PSG to negotiate next. Dortmund meanwhile are coming off the back of a Harry Kane-inspired shellacking in Der Klassiker and will be desperate for a confidence-restoring bounce-back victory. So it won’t be easy … but then nothing is in the Champions League.
Eddie Howe speaks to TNT Sports. “We hope the team performs really well … it’s got a good mix of experience, youth and the athleticism we need to do well in this game … we believe in the team, we have some very good players on the pitch … we’re in good form, confidence should be high … you can see already what this game will be like in terms of atmosphere and dealing with that is going to be a big thing for us … a couple of the choices they have made have surprised us, possibly we’ve done the same to them.”
Matt Smith does his best to get some idea of how the Toon boss will set up his youthful and cobbled-together XI, asking twice, but Howe’s not budging. “I don’t want to tell you,” he smiles, albeit with a slight just-try-asking-me-a-third-time frost around the teeth.
Plenty of changes to both starting XIs from the reverse fixture at St James’ Park a fortnight ago. Borussia Dortmund make five changes: Julian Brandt, Niklas Süle, Julian Ryerson, Salih Özcan and Karim Adeyemi replace Marco Reus, Donyell Malen, Marius Wolf and Ramy Bensebaini, all of whom drop to the bench, and the injured Emre Can.
Newcastle make four changes to the team they sent out for that 1-0 defeat. Alexander Isak and Dan Burn are both injured, while Antony Gordon and Miguel Almirón drop to the bench. Stepping up: Callum Wilson, Joe Willock, Tino Livramento and Lewis Hall. Newcastle’s injury crisis is such that they’ve only named eight subs, including 21-year-old midfielder Lucas de Bolle and 18-year-old striker Ben Parkinson, plus two goalies in Martin Dubravka and Loris Karius.
Borussia Dortmund: Kobel, Sule, Hummels, Schlotterbeck, Ryerson, Sabitzer, Ozcan, Brandt, Nmecha, Adeyemi, Fullkrug.
Subs: Bensebaini, Reyna, Haller, Reus, Wolf, Moukoko, Malen, Meyer, Laurenz Lotka, Blank, Bynoe-Gittens.
Newcastle United: Pope, Trippier, Lascelles, Schar, Hall, Longstaff, Bruno Guimaraes, Willock, Livramento, Wilson, Joelinton.
Subs: Dubravka, Dummett, Gordon, Karius, Almiron, Parkinson, Miley, De Bolle.
Referee: Alejandro Hernandez (Spain).
When these teams met at St James’ Park a fortnight ago, this happened …
… which meant the Group F table suddenly looked very tight …
… and so Newcastle could really do with some sort of result at the Westfalenstadion this evening, in order to stay in touch with the top two. Kick off is at 5.45pm GMT. It’s on!