Dortmund had a blistering start to the campaign, but haven't won in their last three matches. That does, however, include a thrilling comeback draw against Real Madrid (and yes, Christian Pulisic had a hand in it). Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remains incredibly consistent with six goals in six Bundesliga appearances and two goals in two Champions League matches. They'll certainly be the favorites, but Sporting have won nine straight matches at home and began the Champions League campaign with a last-minute 2-1 loss to Real Madrid. Sporting are a hotbed for young talent, with 21-year old winger Gelson Martins making two appearances for Portugal over the international break as Barcelona confirmed they're monitoring his development. A fascinating matchup of some of the world's best against the next generation.
Sporting snatched away manager Jorge Jesus, regarded as the best in Portugal, from crosstown rivals Benfica, last year, but one season wasn’t enough for him to end their 14 season title drought. In the Champions League, they didn’t make it past the play-off round, so the group stage this year is an improvement, despite being drawn into a group with giants Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. Algerian striker Islam Slimani left for Leicester after scoring 27 goals last season, so it may be Joel Campbell - on loan from Arsenal - who could step up. He’ll be backed by a strong Portuguese midfield including William Carvalho and Adrien Silva.
Thomas Tuchel had Dortmund firing last season - nearly any other year, their 78 points would have been enough to win the title. But, as always, there’s Bayern. While their captain, Mats Hummels, has exited alongside Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Ilkay Gundogan (to opposite sides of Manchester), Dortmund have brought in capable replacements in Mario Götze and Andre Schürrle while also keeping hold of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. With master tinkerer Thomas Tuchel now settled as he takes on his second season at Signal Iduna Park, there will be few teams confident in overpowering or outsmarting Dortmund.
The Euro 2016 winner was linked to top EPL clubs over the summer, but stayed put and will be crucial in breaking up attacks in midfield.
The accurate passer is Sporting's captain and has been with the club since 2007.
Dortmund somehow managed to keep hold of the electric forward who scored 39 goals last season.
The Greek defender will be even more crucial to Dortmund's season after captain Mats Hummels departure. His last name, Papastathopoulos, is too long to print, so his jersey simply reads, "Sokratis."