What: Champions League – Quarter-final Second Leg
Who: Borussia Dortmund (0) vs Real Madrid (3) (First leg score in brackets)
When: Tuesday 8th April, 2014, at 19:45 UK Time
Where: Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany

Not Out Yet

Depleted without a good number of their usual starters, Borussia Dortmund could not keep up with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu last week and consequently fell 3-0 against los Blancos. Realising that they need to dig deep at the Westfalenstadion in order to reverse proceedings and earn a qualification ticket, Jurgen Klopp’s players will have to remember their last victory against their opponents, a 4-1 triumph at their own ground, in order to move on. However, that result will still not be enough this time around.

Dortmund boast a good record against Spanish opposition in two-legged knockout ties, having won five times and lost twice. However, the current deficit might be too big for the Germans to overturn, but Marco Reus believes that the tie is not yet sentenced. 

“We haven’t given up yet. It will be tough if we play like we did in the first half today [against Wolfsburg]. But if we play like we did in the second half, we might have a chance. It will be very tough, but we will give our all. Anything is possible in football”, declared the midfielder.

The teams met twice at Signal Iduna Park in last term’s Champions League, with the former Bundesliga champions winning both games. However, having not scored away in the first leg, an away goal for Real Madrid will be fatal for Dortmund.

No Ronaldo, No Problem

The away trip to Real Sociedad was always going to be Real Madrid’s hardest remaining fixture in La Liga. With talisman Cristiano Ronaldo missing, there was a general feeling that Los Blancos might choke and slip-up in San Sebastian. Luckily for Carlo Ancelotti, his men eventually came up with an impressive 4-0 away win to extend the fight in La Liga. Despite having a comfortable cushion ahead of this second leg against Borussia Dortmund, their revenge over last season’s exit can only be complete when they effectively knock the Germans out and qualify.

And that is exactly what Xabi Alonso declared ahead of the team’s trip north to Germany, with the former Liverpool man saying that his team cannot drop their guard just yet. “It was very satisfying [the first leg win] and we enjoyed it, because it’s a great result but it isn’t over. There are 90 minutes to go and we know that our recent history at that ground [Signal Iduna Park] isn't good”, commented the Basque player. 

Real Madrid’s record in the Champions League this term has been impressive, as they remain the only team not to be beaten this term next to neighbours Atletico Madrid. Los Merengues have also won nine of their last ten games in the competition, with their last loss ironically being the 4-1 defeat against Borussia Dortmund almost a year ago.

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Borussia Dortmund:
Stuttgart 2-3 Borussia Dortmund (29/03; Bundesliga)
Real Madrid 3-0 Borussia Dortmund (02/04; Champions League)
Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Wolfsburg (05/04; Bundesliga)

Real Madrid:
Real Madrid 5-0 Rayo Vallecano (29/03; La Liga)
Real Madrid 3-0 Borussia Dortmund (02/04; Champions League)
Real Sociedad 0-4 Real Madrid (05/04; La Liga)

Key absences

Borussia Dortmund: Zlatan Alomerovic; Marcel Schmelzer; Sven Bender; Jakub Blaszczykowski; Neven Subotic; Ilkay Gundogan; Sebastian Kehl (suspended)

Real Madrid: Jese; Alvaro Arbeloa; Sami Khedira; Marcelo; Angel di Maria (doubt); Cristiano Ronaldo (doubt) 

Players to watch

Borussia Dortmund – Robert Lewandowski: The Poland striker is back for this game after serving a suspension in the first leg. Having been the hero of the 4-1 win they had over Real Madrid last term, where he scored all four goals, Lewandowski will want to present his side with precious final gifts before embarking to Bayern Munich next term.

Real Madrid – Pepe: The Portuguese has been an absolute rock for the side in recent games, finding the fighting spirit that once made him one of the best centre-backs in the business a few years ago. In front of a very hostile crowd, the defence will be under a lot of pressure, and Pepe will have to lead by example to make sure his team’s night does not end in disarray.

Match Prediction

Borussia Dortmund got back to winning ways against Wolfsburg at the weekend, and they hope they can reverse the result against Real Madrid. However, last season’s finalists have a good number of absences, and while they can get the win at the Westfalenstadion, they will fall short when it comes to getting the right result to see themselves through. Expect Los Blancos to progress.

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