Real Madrid, the most successful side in the history of the European Cup, travel to Borussia Dortmund looking to improve on what is a dismal record on German soil. It is an amazing statistic that Real have won just once in 23 matches in Germany.
The last time they were there, six months ago, Real lost the first leg of their semifinal to Bayern Munich before eventually exiting in the return at the Bernabeu.
If Real can improve on the record with a second victory in Germany then Jose Mourinho’s side will be all but assured of a place in the knockout phase. After a disappointing start to the season, Real’s recent form has been impressive as they have won five of their last six and the only dropped points were in a draw at Barcelona.
Real will have to continue to battle a full-back injury crisis against Dortmund, however. Alvaro Arbeloa, Marcelo and Fabio Coentrao will still be absent, meaning that Sergio Ramos will again likely be moved to right back with Michael Essien filling in on the left.
Mourinho was attempting to play down the impact of the injuries in his pre-match press conference.
“It will certainly be a difficult match but not because of our injured players–I don't think we are desperately short of players,” he said, according to Uefa.com. “We will have a team capable of putting in a good performance here.”
Borussia Dortmund should prove tough opponents, having already shown in their two matches in the competition so far that they are intent on putting the disappointment of their early Champions League exit last season behind them.
After a narrow win against Ajax, the German champions really should have beaten Manchester City but spurned a series of chances before succumbing to a late equalizer from the penalty spot.
Things have not gone so well domestically, though, for Jurgen Klopp’s side. Dortmund fell to a 2-1 home defeat to fierce rivals Schalke on Saturday and now sit in fourth place, 12 points behind Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich.
Dortmund should welcome back Marcel Schmelzer and Mario Gotze, although midfielder Ilkay Gundogan may again miss out.
Borussia Dortmund (probable)
D: Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer
M: Bender, Kehl
Reus, Gotze, Grosskreutz
Real Madrid (probable)
D: Ramos, Varane, Pepe, Essien
M: Modric, Alonso
Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo
Prediction: Both sides are suffering from injury problems, with Real’s defense weakened and Dortmund missing numbers in midfield. There is no doubt that Real are in better form and could well go to Germany and pick up a rare win. However, after their inspired performance against City, Dortmund will be determined to progress in the competition and could well pick up a point that may ultimately suit both teams.
Borussia Dortmund 1-1 Real Madrid
Where to watch: The Champions League Group D contest will kick-off from Signal Iduna Park at 2.45 p.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by Fox Soccer Plus, with a live stream available via FoxSoccer2Go.