The first match-up between these two sides was an embarrassment for Legia - not only did they ship six goals from six different goalscorers, but they were forced to play their next home match in the Champions League behind closed doors after being charged by UEFA for racist and violent behavior. Now they need to travel to one of the most intimidating grounds in Europe. Legia are already eliminated, but a loss would ensure they finish in last place, with no hope of getting into the Europa League. Meanwhile, Dortmund will be looking to edge closer to a coveted first place finish that will pave the way for a more favorable matchup in the round of 16. However, Legia’s 3-3 draw against Real Madrid last time out does provide some hope that they could achieve an incredible upset.
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.
Legia Warsaw are back in the Champions League for the first time since 1995-96 when they reached the quarterfinals. Formed as the official club of the Polish Army, they’ll be sporting army green away kits when they visit the Bernabeu. Last season, the eventual Polish champions were led by Hungarian striker Nemanja Nikolić, who scored 28 league goals last campaign. While it’s unlikely they’ll get out of the group, Legia’s average attendance is more than double the Polish league average, so expect noisy welcomes for European giants Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid.
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."