Borussia Dortmund welcome group rival's Real Madrid to the Westfalenstadion for Wednesday nights Champions League clash.
Dortmund are currently second in Group D with 4 points, behind first placed Madrid with 6 points who have a 100% record in Europe so far this season. Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp is well aware that his team will have their work cut out when they face the Spanish giants who's team is littered with superstars. But Jose Mourinho is also under no illusions that his side face a tough task travelling to Germany where historically Madrid haven't had the best of times, losing or drawing 27 of 48 games against opposition from the country.
Madrid were of course also knocked out of last season Champions League by Bayern Munich in the semi-final after the second leg match went to penalties. Mourinho will have to banish those memories and focus his attention beating the current German champions. However Madrid won't have their whole squad fit and available with injuries to Marcelo who will likely miss the rest of the group stage after breaking a metatarsal in training with Brazil. Fabio Coentrao, Alvaro Arbeloa and Sami Khedira are also doubts after missing out at the weekend with knocks picked up on international duty.
Dortmund have similar issues in that department with Marcel Schmelzer, Mario Gotze and Gundogan all missing the weekend game against Schalke although the trio have returned to first team training but are still doubtful for this Champions League clash.
Dortmund come into this game on faltering form, currently sitting 4th in the Bundesliga with 12 points. The German side have won only one of their last five matches in the league, drawing two and losing two and conceding 9 goals in the process. Although many would argue that they were unlucky to come away from the Etihad with only a draw after comprehensively outplaying Manchester City.
Last Five Results:
Borussia Dortmund 1 – 2 Schalke 04
Hannover 96 1 – 1 Borussia Dortmund
Manchester City 1 – 1 Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund 5 – 0 Borussia Monchengladbach
Eintracht Frankfurt 3 – 3 Borussia Dortmund
Real Madrid however come into this match looking very dangerous. Winning four of their last five matches and drawing 2 – 2 with Barcelona, scoring 15 goals in the process including two hat-tricks for Cristiano Ronaldo. Madrid, like Dortmund currently sit 4th in La Liga after an indifferent start to the season that included two losses and two draws. But Mourinho and his team have put that behind them and will be looking to carry their recent form into Wednesday night's match.
Last Five Results:
Real Madrid 2 – 0 Celta Vigo
Barcelona 2 – 2 Real Madrid
Ajax Amsterdam 1 – 4 Real Madrid
Real Madrid 5 – 1 Deportivo
Rayo Vallecano 0 – 2 Real Madrid
As I mentioned before Madrid's team is littered with world class footballers but there is still only one player who I can pick as their star player. Cristiano Ronaldo, the ₤80 million man, since his arrival from Manchester United in June 2009 he has been a revelation, with a goal scoring ratio of just over 1 per game. He recently scored back to back hat-tricks in La Liga and nearly made it a hat-trick of hat-tricks when he scored two goals against Barcelona. Those stats alone would make him the star player in any team.
Borussia Dortmund don't quite have the same quality and depth in their squad but they do have their fare share of top class players. With the likes of Mario Gotze, Blaszxzykowski, Marco Reus and Robert Lewandowski. But because of his recent form for both club and country I'll have to with Marco Reus, scoring four goals this season so far for his club and five goals in 13 appearances for Germany. He can change the game in an instant with his pace and his powerful yet accurate shot.
Both managers are under no illusions of how tough this match will be, Jurgen Klopp has said he has watched Madrid a lot, but has hardly ever seen them this good. Whilst Mourinho has praised Dortmund and pointed out how dynamic and quick their play is but has hinted that his team go to Germany with a game plan to exploit a 'little weakness' that the special one has noticed. Whatever the outcome this will surely be a mouth watering contest and a treat for the neutrals.
Borussia Dortmund 2 – 3 Real Madrid
Dortmund will give it their all but Madrid will be just that little bit to strong for the German's Ronaldo to get a brace with Xabi Alonso adding the third with a long range rocket. Reus and Lewandowski to get the goals for Dortmund to take it to the wire.