April 08, 2014; 19:45 BST
Borussia Dortmund host Real Madrid at the Westfalenstadion tonight in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie. The Spanish side are the favourites to reach the semi-final now after taking a 3-0 lead in the first leg. The last time Real Madrid visited this stadium they were thrashed 4-1 by Dortmund and the German side will hope for a similar outcome this time around as well.
Real Madrid have bounced back well since the back to back defeats they suffered at the hands of Barcelona and Sevilla last month. They have now scored 12 goals in their last three matches without conceding any and are coming into this game on the back of a convincing 0-4 win over Real Sociedad, despite missing Cristiano Ronaldo from the side.
Borussia Dortmund on the other hand managed to pull a three-point lead over Schalke 04 in the race of the second place in the Bundesliga with a 2-1 win over Wolfsburg. It was only their third win in their last seven matches in all competitions and Klopp will hope that his men can carry the momentum into the second leg against Real Madrid.
On paper there will be only one outcome of this tie at this point, but if Dortmund does manage to pull out an upset then the football fans across the world are in for a treat.
Team news and tactics
Jurgen Klopp is still missing out on a lot of key players ahead of this game – something which have affected them a lot this season. Ilkay Gundogan, Sven Bender, Jannik Bandowski, Jakub Blaszczykowski and Neven Subotic are still injured and out of contention. Sebastian Kehl is suspended for this game after picking up another yellow card in the first leg of this tie. The good news for Klopp though is the return of Robert Lewandowski, who missed the first leg in Madrid due to suspension.
There are also concerns about the fitness of Roman Weidenfeller, who missed the last game against Wolfsburg. Nuri Sahin was also taken off at halftime after picking up a knock, although he is expected to regain full fitness in time for this game. There are also doubts about Marco Reus, who scored the winner at the weekend, and Sokratis – but they are expected to start against Real Madrid tomorrow.
Jurgen Klopp is expected to make two changes to the side he fielded against Wolfsburg at the weekend. Roman Weidenfeller is expected to start in goal after being rested as Mitchell Langerak drops back to the bench. Klopp has limited options in the midfield at the moment and he is likely to hand over Milos Jojic his first start in the Champions League this season as he partner Nuri Sahin in the pivot ahead of the defence.
Dortmund are unlikely to repeat the score-line they managed in the first leg against Real Madrid when these two sides faced each other in the semi-final of this competition last year, but Klopp will certain hope to see more decisiveness in front of the goal from his attackers in this game. The return of Lewandowski will provide them with the cutting edge in the attack upfront – something they lacked in the first leg.
Expected starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Weidenfeller (GK); Piszczek, Hummels, Sokratis, Großkreutz; Sahin, Jojic; Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan, Reus; Lewandowski
Although Real Madrid’s injury list is not as long as that of Borussia Dortmund, Carlo Ancelotti will also miss out on a lot of his key players in this game. Marcelo, Alvaro Arbeloa, Jese and Sami Khedira remain out of contention for this match due to injuries. But the biggest concern for Ancelotti ahead of this game was the fitness of Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese international was substituted in the second half of the first leg after he picked up an knee injury – something which has been bothering him for a long time this season. Ronaldo missed out on Real Madrid’s trip to Real Sociedad at the weekend as Ancelotti hoped that his star winger will recover in time for the second leg. The 29-year-old did join training on Sunday, but limped out of it – ending all hopes of him participating in the second leg. Gareth Bale also picked up a knock in the last game against Real Sociedad, but is expected to recover in time for this game.
Carlo Ancelotti is expected to make three changes to the side he fielded at the weekend in La Liga. Iker Casillas will return to goal in place of Diego Lopez, while Fabio Coentrao will replace Nacho at the left back. Ancelotti has also confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Pepe and Ramos will start as the center back.
In the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo, Angel Di Maria is likely to start in the front three, along with Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale. In the midfield Ancelotti has the option of playing either Isco or Asier Illarramendi alongside Xabi Alonso and Luka Modric. He is likely to start with Isco in that role, as he did in the first leg.
With a three goal advantage in this tie, Real Madrid will play to their strength of sitting deep and hitting Dortmund on the counter-attack. Dortmund will have to push forward in search of goals and that will leave gaps at the back, which the likes of Bale and Di Maria and exploit with ease.
Expected starting line-up (4-3-3): Casillas (GK); Carvajal, Ramos, Pepe, Coentrao; Isco, Alonso, Modric; Bale, Benzema, Di Maria
Players to watch-out for: Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund); Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)
Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 1-2 Real Madrid