On Saturday, a last gasp header from Sergio Ramos ensured that Real Madrid walked away from the Camp Nou with a point. Madrid now sits six points clear at the top with 34 points with Barcelona in second place with 28 points. Things are not looking good in UEFA Champions League for Real Madrid as it has in the Spanish League with a draw against Legia Warsaw a disappointing result that has left the team with an all-to-do task against Borussia Dortmund or face facing a tougher opposition as a second placed team. How would Zinedine Zidane and Real Madrid fare against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday?
Cristiano Ronaldo has gotten two goals in the Champions League thus far and against Dortmund, the current top scorer of the competition would do all he can to not only close the gap against Messi in the current campaign but to also near the 100 goal mark and become the first man to reach 100 UEFA Champions League goals.
Thomas Tuchel and Borussia Dortmund impressed at the weekend with their performance against an out of form Borussia Monchengladbach. Tuchel has been the suspect of the rotation system and earlier on in the season, it nearly saw Dortmund fall back in the Bundesliga but the performances RB Leipzig has kept the Bundesliga open and not a runaway for Bayern Munich as it has in previous seasons.
Real Madrid Do Not Want a Repeat of the 2012/13 Season
In the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League season, Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund faced off in the group stage and Dortmund topped a group that also had Manchester City. This undoubtedly placed a lot of pressure on Real Madrid as the team had to face Manchester United in the Round of 16 which became a hell out of a mountain to climb as goals from Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo canceled out an own goal from Sergio Ramos.
Zinedine Zidane and his charges know all about this and would certainly do everything in their power to be able to avoid this.
Dortmund has not had a very consistent season. There are some matches that various pundits and bookmakers saw as an easy negotiation for Dortmund but it never materialized therefore winning the group would help the team in heading far in the competition as the team has falling in the perking order after their exploits in the 2012/13 campaign where they claimed second place.
This year’s competition has provided a lot of surprises especially on the sides of Monaco and Arsenal – the latter team trying to top a group in the UEFA Champions League in as many years. Zidane is looking to preserve and stretch his unbeaten run whiles Thomas Tuchel seems to be the man who could take the flag of the Bundesliga far in the competition after the abysmal performances of Bayern Munich in the competition.
Mario Gotze moved out of Dortmund to find Champions League success with Bayern Munich but he couldn’t and his current form communicates a lot into how determined he wants to win together with Aubameyang, Reus and Schürrle. Gareth Bale is out but Lucas Vasquez maturity in the El Clasico shows that he has improved and would fill in perfectly.
Tuchel and Zidane are two young managers with similar strategies to the beautiful game. Who wins on Wednesday?
Real Madrid hosts Dortmund on December 7, 2016 at 11:45AM PST.