Match Preview: Borussia Dortmund vs. Real Madrid

Champions League Preview

Signal Iduna Park has hosted many greats in the Champions and, when the groups were drawn in August, it was clear that it would host at least one more against an ole foe. Real Madrid came to Dortmund last season and left with a draw on their way to winning the Champions League that season in Cardiff. Before that though they were battered by Robert Lewandowski and his Dortmund team-mates as they made it to the Champions League final under Jurgen Klopp. Could Peter Bosz take another step on the road to another famous European final by beating the reigning champions?

Prior to the game, Zinedine Zidane was full of praise for BVB and Signal Iduna Park. He said, “This is a stadium that simply oozes Champions League and winning here represents a challenge for us. Whichever ground you play at it’s always tough. We’ve never won here and it’s a challenge for us, because we always go out to try and win. We want to play some good football and I want to see a good game. Every three days you have to prove your worth.” Zidane also commented on an apparent lack of confidence which many have claims currently plagues his side following a run of below par performances and results. “I don’t think we’re lacking in confidence because we believe in what we do. Whilst it’s true that there may always be question marks if you look in from the outside, but that’s what we have to deal with every three days, that’s the tricky part. Every season and every game will be more difficult and if we don’t perform to a high standard, things will get tough for us.”

Zidane has submitted a 20-man squad list to UEFA for the game which does include Toni Kroos following a recent knock. Notable absences include Marcelo, who does have an injury, and Karim Benzema. Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo do make the squad however, once again ensuring that Real will have a very strong team available on Tuesday night.

BVB come into this game on the back of a very impressive week in the Bundesliga. They ended rounds four, five and six with an aggregate score of 14-1, conceding their first domestic goal of the season in the weekend’s derby game at home against Borussia Moenchengladbach. They have equalled their points record for the first six games of the season (16) and have broken the Bundesliga record for highest goal difference at this point in the season (+18), drawing praise from media and pundits alike. Peter Bosz has described coaching this side as “fun”, which clearly shows in the team’s performances at the minute. He has rotated his squad to its fullest extent but that doesn’t seem to be a problem with the players. “We’re able rotate because the quality of the team is very high,” said Jeremy Toljan following his home debut. “We have to rotate due to the number of matches we have. You saw from today that there was no drop in performance, which means the coach is free to choose. And the atmosphere is good because everyone is playing and making a contribution to our success.” Maxi Philipp also has no issue with the rotation system, saying, “”There’s a lot of quality in the team. There are different types of players, but everyone offers something. We complement each other perfectly and know what the coach wants from us.”

BVB are still without a number of players for this game. Marcel Schmelzer is still unavailable following the ankle injury he picked up in Freiburg a couple of weeks ago. Marco Reus, Andre Schurrle, Raphael Guerreiro, Sebastien Rode and Erik Durm are still long term absentees. Marc Bartra has been welcomed back into the fold however following his muscle injury, as has Mario Gotze after a facial injury picked up against Cologne.

It is not beyond the realms of possibility for Dortmund to go far in this season’s competition. Their league form suggests that they are among Europe’s elite as it currently stands and they are unbeaten at home against tonight’s opponents. That doesn’t mean they should take anything for granted against this Real Madrid side. After all they are the current holders and boast the World Player of the Year among their ranks. Peter Bosz is a shrewd man and will probably be doing no such thing but if a win is to be achieved then a much better performance than the one put in at Wembley on matchday one is certainly the order of the day.