Having suffered an embarrassing 2-0 loss in Germany, Real Madrid have no choice but to attack the opposition from the off in an attempt to overturn the deficit as quickly as possible. Wolfsburg, on the other hand, impressed in their first ever quarter-final appearance, but they cannot afford to relax just yet if they want to make it to the last four.
While he quickly established a very good rapport with Real Madrid players, Zinedine Zidane needed to work hard to convince the media and fans alike that he is the right man for the job. The former France star stabilised the team after some initial struggles and it was the 2-1 triumph over bitter rivals Barcelona at Camp Nou, where los Blancos scored the winning goal with ten men on the pitch, that saw Zidane’s stock raise a great deal. Buoyed by the El Clasico win, Real Madrid were tipped to easily see off underperforming Wolfsburg in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals, but they instead failed to deliver at Volkswagen Arena and eventually had to settle for a 2-0 defeat. Los Blancos responded well to said setback, hammering Eibar 4-0 and while they will certainly have a more difficult job on Tuesday night, if any team can overturn a two-goal deficit it is Real Madrid. The Santiago Bernabeu outfit have won last four CL fixtures at home, scoring 17 goals and keeping four clean sheets, so we definitely would not be surprised to see them turn on the style and make amends for the disappointing showing in Germany.
Sergio Ramos is back to the side after missing the Eibar clash through suspension, while there were more good news for Zinedine Zidane.
Raphael Varane and Karim Benzema both resumed full training, meaning that the coach should have fully fit squad to select from.
This season has been pretty disappointing for Wolfsburg when their Bundesliga campaign is concerned, with Dieter Hecking’s side currently occupying eighth position in the league standings and highly unlikely to secure European qualification. Oddly enough, the Wolves have done a lot better in the Champions League, making sure the current season will be deemed a success. After winning the first place in a group that also contained the likes of Man Utd, PSV Eindhoven and CSKA Moscow, the Wolves recorded a double win over KAA Gent to reach the quarter-finals, but many believed that would be the end of the road for the Germans having been pitted against mighty Real Madrid. The good thing is that the players did not believe the hype as they produced a memorable performance to record a 2-0 triumph in the first leg and are now on the verge of reaching the semi-final. Nevertheless, preventing Real Madrid from scoring at least three goals at the Bernabeu is not going to be an easy task seeing that Wolfsburg’s back line is simply not good enough to withstand the pressure throughout the match.
Striker Bas Dost returned into action at the weekend and he is available for selection, but Daniel Caligiuri remains doubtful.
Coach Dieter Hecking managed to rest several first team regulars against Mainz, with Ricardo Rodriguez and Vieirinha among those set to be recalled.
Key Factors to Consider
- Real Madrid were lost to Schalke last time they faced German opposition at home
- Los Blancos won last four CL games at home without conceding
- Wolfsburg lost four of seven away matches in the Champions League
- However, they beat CSKA and Gent on last two trips
- The Wolves boast 2-4-8 away record in Bundesliga
Real Madrid may have failed to impress in the first leg, but they have got enough attacking potential to seriously hurt Wolfsburg in the return leg and we are backing them to qualify for the next stage. The Wolves cannot be trusted to repeat another such performance after struggling throughout the season, especially given the lack of experience at this level.
Verdict: Real to qualify
Best Odds: 1/1
Bookmaker: William Hill