Matchday 2 of group fixtures in this season’s Champions League throws up second in the Bundesliga against first in La Liga as Borussia Dortmund host Real Madrid in a Group F encounter on Tuesday night in what is surely one of the most eagerly anticipated early games in the competition. Two form sides littered with star players and possessing a penchant for attacking football…what’s not to like?
Dortmund are back in Europe’s premier club competition after a season on hiatus in the Europa League, and barring a surprise defeat in the league against big spending Red Bull Leipzig, have started their 2016/17 campaign in devastating form, knocking five past Wolfsburg, six past Darmstadt and six past Legia Warsaw on Matchday 1. Dortmund have banged in 24 goals in their total of six Bundesliga and Champions League games so far, conceding only four times in that same period, and so Thomas Tuchel’s men will fear nobody, even a Real Madrid side who haven’t lost a competitive match since early April, have been defeated only twice since February, and of course claimed their eleventh European crown back in April.
Recent weeks have been somewhat of a stutter for Zinedine Zidane’s previously rampant side; two draws bringing to an end a record-equalling sixteen match winning run in La Liga. In fact, across all competitions, Zidane has only lost two matches since taking the Real hot seat, and has introduced a steeliness into his side that was somewhat lacking under previous boss Rafa Benitez; several late winners this campaign alone have seen his side dubbed ‘The Comeback Kings,’ and there was no better reflection of this than on Champions League Matchday 1 at the Bernabeu when 89th and 94th minute goals saw the home side turn around a one nil deficit against Sporting. Adding a never-say-die attitude to the star-studded ability of this Madrid side has been Zidane’s outstanding coaching achievement thus far, and bodes well for another potentially successful season in the history of this world-footballing behemoth. Oh, and Cristiano Ronaldo has barely started scoring yet this term…
Team news and head-to-head
The stats don’t make pretty reading for the defending European champions; Real have never won on the road against Dortmund in five attempts and have lost the last three Champions League encounters at the Westfalenstadion (Real do not possess a worse current away losing streak against any other side). Traditionally the home team has come out on top in these encounters; the only exception in recent memory being Dortmund’s 2-2 draw at the Bernabeu back in 2012. With Dortmund having scored eleven times in three home matches so far this season, conceding only twice, this represents a serious test of Real’s credentials, particularly without Casemiro (broken leg), Marcelo (calf muscle strain) and Pepe (knee), as well as lingering fitness concerns surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. ‘Keeper Keylor Navas should be welcomed back to the squad in time but may not displace Kiko Casilla. The home side remain without long-term absentees Nevan Subotic, Erik Durm, Sven Bender and Marco Reus, while former Barcelona player Marc Bartra is likely to miss out with an abductor strain sustained in the win against Wolfsburg.
Borussia Dortmund – 2.540
Draw – 3.760
Real Madrid – 2.770
All odds courtesy of Pinnacle and correct as of 14:00 GMT on 26/09/16
By: Steve Paget