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Feyenoord and Dortmund in must-win matches

Dutch and Germans in danger of exiting early

Gulf News

Amsterdam: Dutch champions Feyenoord must regroup quickly to avoid a premature end to their European adventure on Tuesday following defeats by Manchester City and Napoli in Group F. Their league form has also tailed off dramatically after kicking off the season with four straight wins — Saturday’s 0-0 draw at home to Zwolle marked the third time in four outings they had failed to score. Now they face a Shakhtar Donetsk side who were unbeaten in 27 away games before losing to City three weeks ago, while their track record against Dutch opposition is awful with four defeats in as many matches.

In Group G, debutants RB Leipzig face a tough challenge when they host Porto. Their Portuguese rivals won the title in 2004 and come calling on the back of an impressive 3-0 win over last season’s semi-finalists Monaco that has left them second in the group. The match reunites Leipzig striker Timo Werner, who scored twice in Germany’s 3-1 defeat of Cameroon in July’s Confederations Cup, with his Porto opposite number Vincent Aboubakar, who last week signed a new deal tying him to Porto until 2021. Leipzig, last season’s runners-up on their Bundesliga debut, beat Borussia Dortmund at the weekend, with Porto held to a goalless stalemate by Sporting Lisbon in their domestic Liga.

Besiktas are at Monaco hunting a third straight win after the Turkish champions dished out defeats to Porto and Leipzig. They are three points clear at the top of a table footed by French champions Monaco.

In Group H, victory against APOEL in Cyprus is imperative for Borussia Dortmund if the Bundesliga leaders are to reignite their flickering European hopes. Their recent form on the continent is dreadful with Dortmund losing five of their last seven matches, while APOEL are looking for a first win in the Champions League proper since March 2012. Both Dortmund and APOEL are seeking their first points in the group after successive defeats in what is the first encounter between the two clubs.

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