Monday, December 18, 2017

Prediction: Real Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 13/25

Bookmaker: 888sport

Real Madrid have a slim chance to reach the top spot in Group H, while Borussia Dortmund need to secure a win if they want to clinch their ticket to the UEFA Europa League knockout stages. These two European giants will clash this Wednesday at 19:45 BST on Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, Spain. Pavel Kralovec (Czech Republic) will be the referee.

Real Madrid

Many experts and pundits believed Real Madrid would cruise their way on the Group Stage of the UEFA Champions League this season, but that has not been the case so far. Even though Los Merengues have already booked their place in the knockout stages, their performances have been less than inspiring, and they need to produce a strong display if they want to come out on top against a Dortmund side that needs to win at all costs to leave their negative streak behind. Los Blancos will enter this game after a huge 6-0 win over APOEL in the Champions League stage, but they could not defeat Athletic Bilbao in La Liga this past weekend and remain eight points behind FC Barcelona at the domestic level. It seems the Champions League will be the tournament that will save Los Merengues’ season. And a win over Dortmund would certainly boost the team’s morale going forward.

Team News

Real Madrid won’t have Dani Carvajal due to suspension, while third-string goalkeeper Luca Zidane is out with a shoulder problem.

Marco Asensio resumed training after suffering a hip injury, but he is not ready to play yet. And Gareth Bale remains doubtful due to a calf issue.

Borussia Dortmund

Real Madrid might not be playing according to their pre-season expectations, but that same sentence doesn’t even come close to define what Dortmund have endured during this season. Peter Bosz’s men are currently riding a seven-game winless streak across all competitions that includes three draws and four losses, and despite the fact they have a talented squad they just can’t seem to put it all together. Injuries have certainly played a part on the team’s struggles, but they have been constantly losing or drawing to inferior teams. They drew both games against APOEL in their current Champions League run, and are coming off yet another disappointing draw in the Bundesliga, this time against Bayer Leverkusen. Recently they also drew 4-4 against Schalke 04 in a game where they were leading 4-0 during the first half. The team looks out of confidence, and their whole season has been quite below their pre-season standards. They were expected to contend on both tournaments, but that just hasn’t been the case.

Team News

As mentioned above. the Bundesliga giants will be quite depleted ahead of this game. They will have several absentees ahead of this match, while other players are considered doubtful.

The list is quite long. The absentees group includes Mario Götze (ankle), Jacob-Bruun Larsen (knee), Lukasz Piszczek (muscle), Marco Reus (knee) and Jeremy Toljan (suspension). Meanwhile, the list of doubtful players includes Erik Durm (hip), Alexander Isak (knee), Sebastian Rode (thigh) and Maximilian Philipp (knee).

Key Factors to Consider

  • Dortmund should be motivated for this game despite the fact they are already eliminated from the competition. They sit in third place and share the third place with APOEL, but have a superior goal differential. In other words, they need to avoid a blowout loss to reach the UEFA Europa League.
  • The Bundesliga giants are currently riding a seven-game winless streak across all competitions, with three draws and four losses.
  • Meanwhile, Real Madrid remain unbeaten at home under Zinedine Zidane’s tutelage thanks to 9W and 2D in 11 matches.
  • Los Blancos already clinched a knockout stage berth, but they need to win – and wait for Tottenham’s result against APOEL – if they want to top the group. Their chances of winning the group are slim, but they remain there.
  • Real Madrid won 3-1 when these two clubs met earlier this year.

Conclusion

Four of Dortmund’s last five matches have seen over 2,5 goals, and we have witnessed that same outcome in three of Real Madrid’s last four matches.

Considering both teams need to win to keep their goals alive, I believe this game will be extremely open. And just like it happened in their prior meeting during the current group stage, we could see both sides scoring once again.

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 13/25

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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