Dortmund vs Real Madrid
When the groups were drawn, Dortmund take on Real Madrid, risked being a slightly tired rerun of a tie that has been played eight times — often with enthralling results — in the last five years. The German club were supposed to be recalibrating after the departures of Thomas Tuchel and Ousmane Dembele while Real, the barely changed Champions League holders, were once again expected to steamroller the vast majority of opponents that crossed their path.
Perhaps they still will but the tone around this tie looks different now after surprising starts to the season from both teams. The German side has looked superb under Peter Bosz, sitting top of the Bundesliga and thrashing Borussia Monchengladbach 6-1 at the weekend. Real have not found things so simple in La Liga so far and fell to a shock home defeat to Real Betis last Wednesday, although they did at least win at Alaves on Saturday. They are already seven points behind Barcelona and will not want to complicate their situation in Europe, although the pressure sits more firmly on Dortmund’s shoulders after their 3-1 defeat at Tottenham a fortnight ago.
Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund renew their Champions League rivalry when they meet at Signal Idunda Park on Tuesday.
The teams have been paired together five times in six seasons, with Real narrowly coming out on top. However, Dortmund will take comfort from the fact that they have never lost at home to Madrid, having won three and drawn three.
Having already fallen seven points behind rivals Barcelona in La Liga, Real Madrid will welcome a return to continental action and they will hope that a positive result in Germany can kick-start their season.
Cristiano Ronaldo missed the majority of the early action due to suspension, but even the Ballon d’Or holder has struggled to inspire his team, failing to score in his two league appearances since returning to action.
A narrow home defeat to Real Betis last week prompted derisive whistling from the Santiago Bernabeu faithful but responded with a hard-fought victory over Alaves on Saturday and they will be determined to silence their doubters with a convincing win over Peter Bosz’s high-flying Dortmund.
The former Ajax coach has guided BVB to the top of the Bundesliga in his first six league games and they come into the game against Zidane’s men in tremendous form having tallied three consecutive wins in the last three outings, scoring 14 and conceding just once.