Aubameyang Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund forward Aubameyang celebrates a goal against Hamburg in the Bundesliga, September 14Reuters

After Borussia Dortmund's brilliant run to the Champions League final last season, they have quickly become everyone's second favourite side - that is of course if you didn't already support Jurgen Klopp and his band of exceedingly talented men.

Dortmund begin their Champions League campaign this year with a tough trip to Naples to take on Napoli.

The Italian side have built quite a strong side this season, and with the experienced Rafa Benitez at the helm, could cause quite a few teams problems.

Gonzalo Higuain was the marquee signing for Napoli in the summer, bought from Real Madrid, and the Argentine will now be inevitably compared with the Italian side's most famous Argentine - Diego Maradona.

"It doesn't put any pressure on me," Higuain told "It is a nice motivation that Maradona played here, and what he means to Napoli and the fans. Personally I am grateful to have had him as a coach (with Argentina) and to have known him. I am grateful that I could be at the (2010) World Cup with him.

"Right now (Napoli) is a new road in my life, and it is a very important road for me. Naples is a city that feels like Argentina, like Buenos Aires; the way they experience their football, the way they feel it. I am happy to be in this wonderful city."

Dortmund so sensationally lost their best player in Mario Gotze to their title rivals Bayern Munich this summer, but have replaced the talented German with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who joined from Shakhtar Donetsk.

Mkhitaryan came highly rated and has not disappointed with a couple of splendid performances already. Much will be expected of the Armenian international in Europe, and if Dortmund are to make another run at that elusive cup, the playmaker will have to be influential.

For Dortmund, though, filled with star-studded players like Marco Reus, Robert Lewandowski and Mats Hummels, everything begins and ends with their manager Klopp, such is the enigmatic German's importance.

Someone who will look to stamp a similar kind of authority on his side will be Benitez, who last year led Chelsea to the Europa League title.

The Spaniard did not have the best of spells in Italy last time out with Inter Milan, but looks a lot more assured in Naples.

"We have lots of players who have played Champions League football and this helps, as does my experience," Benitez said. "Their experience allied to mine, along with the other players who want to do well and the quality they bring, means this will be a special season for us."

Team News: Benitez does not have too many injury worries and the manager will rely on the form of Marek Hamsik, who has shown some stunning form in Serie A so far.

Dortmund will have to do without the services of the experienced midfielder Sebastian Kehl along with the influential Ilkay Gundogan and Lukasz Piszczek

Where to watch

The game is scheduled for a kickoff on Thursday morning (12.15 am IST) with the match not set for a Live telecast.

Expected lineups: Napoli: Reina; Mesto, Cannavaro, Albiol, Armero; Dzemaili, Inler; Callejon, Hamsik, Insigne; Higuain.

Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller; Grosskreutz, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer; Bender, Sahin; Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan, Reus; Lewandowski.

Prediction: 2-2

Quick Links