The luck of the draw wasn’t on Borussia Dortmund’s side on Monday, as they were drawn with FC Porto for the Round of 32 in the UEFA Europa League. It’s not a stretch to say Porto presented one of the toughest opponents Dortmund could have faced.
The Portuguese giants dropped down from Group G of the Champions League following their loss at the hands of Chelsea on Matchday 6 last week. Porto were unlucky not to advance to the Round of 16: They were the best of the third-placed teams in the Champions League with ten points. Other than Chelsea, Porto were grouped with Dynamo Kyiv and Maccabi Tel-Aviv.
Head coach Julen Lopetegui has a very talented squad at his disposal, with highly rated players like Ruben Neves, Gianelli Imbulla and Vincent Aboubakar. The biggest name, however, is undoubtedly their goalkeeper: Iker Casillas is the man between the sticks since the start of this campaign.
The 34-year-old is certainly not close to the player he once was, and he’ll have his hands full with the Black and Yellows. Thomas Tuchel’s men will take the Europa League more seriously in the new year.
Dortmund host Porto on February 18 and will travel to Portugal the following week. Inbetween, they face Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga. It will be a challenging and exciting time to be a fan of Borussia Dortmund.