Champions League: RB Leipzig reliant on Monaco, Dortmund playing for pride | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 05.12.2017
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Champions League: RB Leipzig reliant on Monaco, Dortmund playing for pride

RB Leipzig's Champions League fate is out of their hands as they welcome Besiktas to Saxony. Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund's fate is already sealed as they face European champions Real Madrid.

RasenBallsport Leipzig can qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time on Wednesday night when they host Turkish champions and group winners Besiktas at the Red Bull Arena – but their destiny is not in their own hands.

Level on points with FC Porto, the Red Bull club know that they have to better the Portuguese side's result against Monaco to have any hope of progressing. Should both teams finish level on points, it will be Porto who progress thanks to their head-to-head record against the Bulls.

"We just need to do our own thing," said right back Bernardo. "We can't influence what Porto do against Monaco anyway. We have a chance – not a huge chance, but still a chance."

"We're going to give everything we have," added midfielder Kevin Kampl, admitting: "Of course we need to hope as well [that Monaco get a result against Porto] but we're going to play our game and enjoy it. Then we'll see what happens."

 - Recap: RB Leipzig keep Champions League dream alive with convincing Monaco win

Coach Ralph Hasenhüttl will be looking for a response from his players after RB crashed to their highest-ever Bundesliga defeat on Saturday – 4-0 away at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. It was also the club's highest-ever away defeat in 165 away games in all competitions since their creation in 2009.

"I can promise one thing, Hasenhüttl said: "We will win our final game."

The coach may have to make do with a makeshift defense as doubts linger over the fitness of Dayot Upamecano and Willi Orban. Captain Orban missed the trip to Sinsheim on Saturday with a thigh strain while youngster Upamecano was substituted at halftime, also with a thigh problem.

Fußball UEFA Europa League Fans von Besiktas Istanbul (picture-alliance/AA/O. Cilesiz )

Besiktas' passionate fans have been asked not to travel

No away supporters

Striker Timo Werner is set to face Besiktas again up front after being substituted during the first meeting between the two sides in Istanbul in September due to circulatory problems which affected his balance and caused him significant discomfort. Reports that he was affected by the febrile atmosphere in Istanbul proved untrue, although Hasenhüttl did admit that "we were taken aback by the atmosphere and couldn't cope with it" as his side lost 2-0.

Not that the boisterous Turkish supporters will be a problem on Wednesday night, with RB Leipzig having acquiesced to Besiktas' request not to sell tickets to away supporters. Following crowd trouble at last season's Europa League quarterfinal against Olympique Lyonnais, Besiktas (and Lyon) were handed suspended supporter bans. Consequently, the Turkish club have asked their fans not to travel to this season's away fixtures.

Red Bull in the Europa League?

Should results not go RB's way, they have already secured a consolation place in the Europa League, which could throw up a potential tie against their Red Bull sister franchise from Salzburg. Last summer, UEFA said that its Financial Control Body (CFCB) had been convinced that both clubs had sufficiently disentangled their operations to comply with Article 5, which states that "no individual or legal entity may have control or influence over more than one club participating in a UEFA club competition."  

 - Read more: Could RB Leipzig be banned from competing in the Champions League?

'A draw would be decent!' for Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund's trip to Madrid to face European champions Real has become an exercise in damage limitation after home and away draws against minnows APOEL Nicosia left the Black & Yellows fighting for third place – and coach Peter Bosz fighting for his job.

Dortmund's lamentable run of form didn't get much better away at Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday and nor did their worrying injury situation. Gonzalo Castro (ankle) and Maximilian Philipp (knee) both hobbled off in the 1-1 draw to join Mario Götze, Marco Reus, Lukasz Piszczek, Erik Durm and Sebastian Rode on the treatment table. Left back Jeremy Toljan is suspended for the trip to Spain while English youngster Jadon Sancho is not registered in BVB's Champions League squad.

CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has reiterated his support for his beleaguered head coach, insisting that "we want to turn things around with Peter Bosz" and that "we want to remain in international competition."

Level on points with Nicosia and equal in terms of head-to-head, Dortmund know that they only have to match the Cypriots' result at Wembley against group winners Tottenham. Nevertheless, Watzke said "a draw would be decent!" in Madrid.

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