Dortmund out to end Ajax run
Borussia Dortmund will have to overcome the poor recent record of Bundesliga clubs in Amsterdam when they tackle Ajax on Wednesday requiring just a point to secure their passage into the Champions League Last 16.
The German champions turn up in the Dutch capital as the leaders of Group D with eight points, meaning a draw will suffice to put them into the knockout stages.
Ajax are placed third on four points - Real Madrid sit second on seven -following their 2-2 draw at Manchester City in their last run out.
History suggests Dortmund face a tough assignment with Ajax having won 12 of their last 13 home encounters against Bundesliga teams.
The Germans go into this fifth group tie in good heart after a 3-1 weekend win over Greuther Fuerth kept them in fourth place behind Bayern Munich, Poland striker Robert Lewandowski bagging a double and midfielder Mario Goetze getting the third.
It was Lewandoski who produced the late decisive goal in Dortmund's 1-0 win over Ajax in the team's first meeting back in September.
Despite only needing a draw, Dortmund will be looking for all three points, according to centre-back Neven Subotic.
"We won't be going there for a 0-0 result, that's really not our game," he said.
Subotic added: "Ajax have an impressive team. I already had lots of respect for them before the first game. They won't allow themselves to be intimidated."
Borussia, who finished last of their group in 2011/2012, went close to securing their ticket to the next round against Real Madrid with the Spanish giants salvaging a 2-2 draw with the equaliser one minute from time.
After that game Borussia coach Jurgen Klopp commented: "We are still top so a draw was a good result for us. If we had won I think we would have deserved it, I'm proud of our performance but a little sad as we were so close to direct qualification."
According to Lewandoski, Borussia's eyecatching Champions League campaign is due in large part to inspiration provided to the team by Klopp.
"You can see on TV how happy he is when we score, and how mad he gets after a failed move - but not with us, but rather with the ball not going into the goal," the Polish international told www.uefa.com.
"I think he lives and breathes not only the matches, but also the training."
Dortmund's progress in Europe's top club competition has won admirers, including Italian 1982 World Cup winner and former Inter Milan star Guiseppe Bergomi who said: "Dortmund, along with Donetsk, have been playing the most attractive football for a while.
"They have gained experience and self-confidence through being brave and taking risks. They are in a position to beat anyone."
Dortmund are yet to win an away game since their return to the competition last season and have to go all the way back to 2003 for their last away victory, at AC Milan.
They will be hoping to buck that trend here.