Borussia Dortmund’s belief they still have a chance of qualifying for the Champions League semi-finals has received a huge boost. That is because influential winger Jadon Sancho has returned to training ahead of the return leg fixture against Manchester City.
The Back Story
The England international was forced to sit out the encounter at the Etihad Stadium due to a thigh injury he picked up at the beginning of March. But as can be expected, followed the match closely. He even let out his frustration at his team’s 2-1 loss by taking to social media to criticise the referee.
The 21-year-old has been a revelation at the Signal Iduna Park since joining the German side from City in 2017. The Englishman has been recording double digits in both goals and assists for Dortmund from the 2018/2019 campaign. In fact, last season he scored 17 league goals and added another 16 assists.
Such numbers opened the door to the English national team as the media waxed lyrical about his qualities. He was the best thing to happen to the German side until Erling Haaland gatecrashed his party from January last year. But that has not changed the fact that he remains an important part of the team.
The German side has tried everything possible to hold on to their man including …
A prohibitive fee on his transfer. With such numbers, who wouldn’t. He does not just perform in the in the league as the club also relies on him for European success. Having already scored twice and set up another three goals in four Champions League starts this term, he could be a huge factor in the return fixture against Man City.
Should Manchester City be Scared?
At this point it seems getting one over his former club will make his success even sweeter as he hopes to progress in Europe’s elite competition. The winger is expected to be pumped up and ready to give his best as he may feel the need to prove a point to Pep Guardiola who did not give him a chance in the first team back in 2017.
His presence, no doubt strengthens Dortmund’s frontline that is already boasting of enormous quality. City had a taste of it when Haaland and captain Marco Reus combined to tear City’s defence apart to smash home an equaliser. It took a Kevin De Bruyne excellent cross to unlock the German side’s defence before Ilkay Gundogan laid the ball on the plate for Phil Foden to grab a winner.
Surely, City cannot take Sancho’s return lightly as he adds so much quality to the opponent’s attack. Home advantage will also count for something as under Guardiola, City have lost all their quarter final away fixtures against Monaco, Liverpool, Tottenham and last season’s game against Lyon in Portugal.
But that does not mean the team should panic. If the Blues play their game, starve the opponent of the ball and go for the killer blow by scoring once or twice, that should be enough to see the team through even if the defence is breached once.