Real Madrid must defeat top-of-the-table Borussia Dortmund if they are to progress as Group F winners in their UEFA Champions League group fixture at the Santiago Bernabéu on Wednesday evening.
UEFA Champions League
7 December 2016
Venue: Estadio Santiago Bernabéu
Referee: Szymon Marciniak
Assistants: P Sokolnicki , T Listkiewicz
Fourth official: R Siejka
TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS
Real 10 4 3 3
Dortmund 10 3 3 4
Dortmund 2-0 Real Madrid 27/09/16 (Champions League)
Dortmund goalscorers: P. Aubameyang (43'), A. Schürrle (87')
Real Madrid goalscorers: C Ronaldo (17'), R. Varane (68')
— Real Madrid C. F. (@realmadrid) December 6, 2016
Players to watch:
Following a slow start to the new campaign, this years Ballon d'Or favourite, Cristiano Ronaldo, will want to make sure he adds to his two goals in this season's Champions League group stage – his lowest tally since joining Real.
The record-breaking forward is just two goals shy of 100 European goals and with five goals in his last three games, including a superb hat-trick against Atletico Madrid, it would be a brave man who bets against 31-year-old adding to his tally against the Bundesliga side.
For Dortmund, the return of Marco Reus has added a new dimension to Thomas Tuchel's attacking arsenal.
Linking up with experienced campaigners like Shinji Kagawa and in-form striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be a real test for the Los Blancos – after a strenuous 1-1 draw with Barcelona in El Clasico on Saturday.
Six assists and two goals in his last two games proves just how important the Dortmund captain is to his side – especially when given the license to roam forward in a counter-attacking line-up that Dortmund usually employ away from home.
Team form and manager quotes:
The last game Real lost was on the 28th of July to PSG in the Champions League, and Zinedine Zidane's men have yet to taste deat in this season's edition of Europe's top-tier competition.
Their 1-1 draw on Saturday with rivals Barcelona ended a five-match winning streak, but their 3-3 draw with Legia Warsaw last month proves they do have some defensive frailties Dortmund may be able to exploit.
"It's a final. We want to win the game tomorrow. We're only thinking about winning, We're not going to look at or think about other things. We want to finish top of the group," Zidane told reporters.
One loss in ten games for the free-scoring Dortmund means both sides come into the must-win tie in incredible form and following their 8-4 win, which was the highest ever scoring game in Champions League history, BVB are ready to showcase their attacking prowess against the European Champions.
There recent 1-0 win over Bayern in the Bundesliga proves they are able to keep an attacking force quiet – while imposing themselves in the last third of the oppositions territory with an ultra high-pressing tactic.
Zidane can welcome back striker Karim Benzema to his staring line-up, but forwards Gareth Bale, Alvaro Morata and influential midfielder Toni Kroos remain on the treatment table.
Defenders Erik Durm, Marcel Schmelzer, Raphaël Guerreiro are all doubtful to feature for Dortmund, while goalkeeper Roman Burki and midfielder Sven Bender will definitely miss out.
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) December 6, 2016