Real Madrid VS Borussia Dortmund Prediction
Four days after scoring another crucial header for Real Madrid, happened once again during last weekend’s El Clasico, Sergio Ramos and his Real Madrid teammates must defeat Borussia Dortmund if they are to progress into the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 draw as Group F winners. Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund were both main favourites for scooping the top two Group F positions, where they’re alongside Sporting CP and Legia Warsaw, but we can easily make a conclusion they have both met the expectations. Last question to be decided is related with the first position, which should ensure “easier opposition” in the 1/8 finals, well, at least on paper. We all know very well that each group winner will be drawn with a second-placed team, but fact that names like PSG/Arsenal, Manchester City and Bayern Munich will be among the unseeded list doesn’t make the aforementioned argument so reliable.
Real Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund – Team News and Match Preview
Real Madrid will be keen to finish on top of the group and for that reason Zinedine Zidane’s men will have to play for a mandatory success at the “Estadio Santiago Bernabéu” in Spanish capital. “The Merengues” are still unbeaten in a competitive match after last season’s Champions League quarter-final round, when they lost 2-0 to Wolfsburg in Germany, but that loss apparently had a positive influence over the team.
After winning of “La Décima” and “La Undécima” against its city rival, twice in space of just three years, Real Madrid have another major target on their radar and that’s definitely the La Liga trophy. Their last league triumph was in the 2011-12 season when José Mourinho’s side lifted the trophy with 100 points, but Portuguese expert couldn’t won the so-desired Champions League during his Madrid spell. Mourinho left the club and he has been replaced by another reputable name in summer of 2013, when Carlo Ancelotti took Real Madrid’s helm and he accomplished a main task – by winning “La Décima”. However, even Ancelotti failed to win the La Liga trophy and it seems Zinedine Zidane has a really decent chance to become first one after Vicente del Bosque, who has won both major trophies – Spanish La Liga and the UEFA Champions League. Of course, in different seasons.
Real Madrid tops the domestic La Liga standings after 14 rounds and “Los Blancos” have six-points more from their rivals Barcelona, maintaining that difference as a result of Sergio Ramos’ late equalizer at the “Camp Nou”, where Barca failed to squeeze the whole set of points on Saturday afternoon. Obviously Zinedine Zidane’s presence spreads huge optimism among the squad and a person with Zizou’s winning mentality can be seriously tempted becoming first ever Real Marid coach, who has won both the La Liga and Champions League trophies in a same year.
Borussia Dortmund cannot boast with same domestic success as its opponent, but Thomas Tuchel’s men can surely be pleased with their European expedition and “Die Borussen” need to avoid defeat in order to retain first position. However, this will be a really tough challenge and Borussia Dortmund can draw some inspiration from a 4-1 win over Borussia M’Gladbach on Saturday afternoon. Their win at the “Signal Iduna Park” in Dortmund came right on time to return “The Black and Yellows” on the winning path, since last weekend they lost 2-1 to Eintracht in Frankfurt, which was their third Bundesliga defeat in the season. So generally Borussia Dortmund is on 9 points from a surprising leader RB Leipzig and after 13 rounds in top tier of German football, Thomas Tuchel’s side occupies the sixth position with three points behind Hertha BSC (3rd) and with six behind reigning champion Bayern Munich (2nd).
Head-to-head (H2H) History and Stats: Real Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund
The 2-2 draw between Dortmund and Real Madrid from end of September, back in matchday 2, was another clash between both sides and they can offer one really impressive head-to-head history in the most prestigious European football competition. Indeed, leaving their current commitment within the 2016-17 UEFA Champions League groups aside, Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid share a common history dating from the 1997-98 UEFA Champions League semi-finals.
It all began with a 2-0 home win for “The Merengues” at the same venue they’ll meet this Wednesday, when Real Madrid of Jupp Heynckes won over Nevio Scala’s Dortmund after a goal in each half, respectively scored by Fernando Morientes and Christian Karembeu. Second leg at the “Westfalenstadion” has ended without any goals and later on Real Madrid lifted the trophy, winning the 1998 UEFA Champions League Final in Amsterdam – 1-0 vs Juventus with Zinedine Zidane in the team, after a goal by Predrag Mijatović. By the way, Zidane was also part from “The Bianconeri” who were defeated 3-1 by Dortmund in the 1996/97 UEFA Champions League final.
That was the first Champions League duel between these two clubs and it has been followed by 9 more encounters in the 21st century. Considering fact Real Madrid are usually being determined for the favourites, not only against Dortmund, we can easily highlight their double competition in the 2012-13 season, when Dortmund and Real Madrid were once again in the same group, but they also met in the semi-finals. It was a memorable moment for Jürgen Klopp’s squad, who were winners in their both home matches and second of them was won in a remarkable way – 4:0 with four goals of Robert Lewandowski. This was the crucial step for reaching final at the “Wembley Stadium” in London, where Dortmund lost German duel from Bayern Munich of Jupp Heynckes. Seems he has an experience in winning of important Champions League clashes against Dortmund.
Last time both clubs have met, before current season, was in April 2014 when Real Madrid eliminated Dortmund from the quarter-finals, winning first leg 3-0 at home, but losing 2-0 in Germany.
After two consecutive matches on German turf, Real Madrid will once again host to Dortmund and we can say “The Merengues” have broken the ice when they face Bundesliga sides in past few years. Last meeting from 27 September 2016 was very dynamic and although Real Madrid took the lead twice after goals by Cristiano Ronaldo (17th min) and Raphael Varane (68th min), Dortmund didn’t give up and answered with actions of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and André Schürrle, who found their names on the score sheet respectively in the 43rd and 87th minute.
Overall balance of the UEFA Champions League fixtures facing Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund contains 11 matches in period of 18 years, where we observe absolute confidence of the hosts – there is not a single away victory in all of these games. Real Madrid were winners in four of the matches, draws are the same number, while victories of Dortmund are three. This makes their rivalry very balanced and with clearly expressed advantage of the home side, but this time draw won’t be acceptable for them.
Real Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund – Prediction and Possible Lineups
Real Madrid owns a very solid squad and it thrives under Zidane’s management. Their unbeaten form expands with every next week and this also applies for the Champions League, where Real Madrid have been flawless at home, collecting scalps of 8 different teams, meaning their last home slip was the 1-1 draw against Juventus in the 2014-15 UEFA Champions League semi-finals. It cost them position in the final, but it has been followed by eight consecutive home wins and six clean sheets. Anyway, all of them were last season, while this season Real Madrid conceded in its previous two home matches against Sporting CP (2-1) and Legia Warsaw (5-1).
Moreover, Real Madrid have won 28 of their last 32 UEFA Champions League home fixtures, losing just once – 3-4 to Dortmund’s regional rival FC Schalke 04 in the 2014/15 season. Stunning record by Real Madrid and Zidane hopes his squad will extend it on Wednesday evening. The French coach will have to claim 9th consecutive home win in Europe of the club he represents without injured Toni Kroos, Gareth Bale and Alvaro Morata. Most likely he’ll name a similar lineup to the one against Barcelona, but we won’t be surprised if Casemiro starts at Isco’s expense. Spanish midfielder was really frustrated on his substitution in the El Clasico, but Casemiro hinted he’s eager for first-team football, after he has successfully recovered from a fibula fracture on his left leg. Otherwise rotations are not likely and this means Lucas Vazquez can start next to Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema in Real Madrid’s attacking formation.
Borussia Dortmund played with a 3-4-3 formation last weekend, but we highly doubt Thomas Tuchel will be that brave in Madrid. He’s a fan of the attacking mentality and Jürgen Klopp’s successor has some great forwards in the squad – starting from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has been often linked to a potential Real Madrid move, as well as players like Ousmane Dembele, Mario Götze, Andre Schürrle, Emre Mor, Marco Reus, Adrian Ramos and Christian Pulisic. They are all in contention here and if we presume Tuchel plans to start with a cautious 4-1-4-1 formation, then we can surely expect Aubameyang on top of it, with Marco Reus and Ousmane Dembele pushing through the wings. The 2014 FIFA World Cup final goal scorer Mario Götze can start next to Gonzalo Castro in midfield, with more attacking functions, while Castro and Julian Weigl will have more defensive responsibilites to carry on their shoulders.
Update 6 December 2016: Mario Götze hasn’t travelled to Spain, having picked up a knee injury and joins list of injured players alongside Roman Burki, Sven Bender and Nuri Sahin.
Portuguese UEFA Euro 2016 winner and summer purchase of Dortmund, Raphael Guerreiro, is close to a return and despite some expectations he could have been ready for the last Bundesliga weekend, Guerreiro missed game against Borussia M’Gladbach. It will be too early for the Portuguese left-back, who has been used as a midfielder by Thomas Tuchel in quite a few occasions, to begin from the outset, so Dortmund’s captain Marcel Schmelzer should be once again preferred as the left defender here. Lukasz Piszczek is expected to operate on the right side, while Marc Bartra, Matthias Ginter and Sokratis, who were all used as a centre-back trio against Gladbach, will have to form a central defending duo this time. Like we said, we don’t expect same formation by Thomas Tuchel, but who knows… He might prepare a tactical surprise!
Veteran Roman Weidenfeller will once again start under the sticks since Roman Bürki has suffered a broken hand in Dortmund’s 1-0 win against Bayern Munich on 19 November and will miss rest of the year, having undergone surgery. In the injury list we also find Nuri Sahin, who has been substituted by Julian Weigl in first-half of last Bundesliga weekend. Sven Bender and Shinji Kagawa are both doubts since they need to regain their form and match fitness.
Final conclusion, Betting Odds and Prediction
We expect open football and lot of scoring chances as in the first leg. Odds for “Over 3 Goals” are dropping but we still recommend them and we expect some goals between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night, 7 December 2016.
Venue: “Estadio Santiago Bernabéu”, Madrid.
Referee: Szymon Marciniak from Poland.
Possible starting lineups of Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund
Real Madrid: Keylor Navas – Marcelo, Raphaël Varane, Sergio Ramos, Daniel Carvajal – Casemiro, Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic – Cristiano Ronaldo, Lucas Vazquez, Karim Benzema. (4-3-3)
Borussia Dortmund: Roman Weidenfeller – Marcel Schmelzer, Matthias Ginter, Sokratis, Lukasz Piszczek – Julian Weigl – Marco Reus, Gonzalo Castro, Sebastian Rode, Ousmane Dembele – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. (4-1-4-1)