Defending Champions Real Madrid travel to Borussia Dortmund in a Champions League Group E tie that would decide the winner of the group.
Both teams have had a good start to their domestic campaigns and won their opening Champions League encounters on Matchday 1.
Going by the previous meetings, chances are, the German outfit would give more than a run for their money to the Spanish giants in the Westfalenstadion that is near its maximum capacity of 83,000.
Die Borussen broke Bayern Munich&’s monopoly over German football after long last, but after winning the Bundesliga in 2011-12, things haven’t exactly gone as planned.
Their star players have left for greener pastures year after year, and the famous Black and Yellow have been in a rebuilding process which is now beginning to show signs of promise.
A solitary loss in the Bundesliga aside, Dortmund have been very impressive, particularly in attack as they have scored 20 goals in the past four games alone.
And one of those games included a 6-0 demolition of Legia Warsaw on Matchday 1 of the Champions League!
Dortmund play a 4-1-4-1 formation regardless of the opposition, and they are among the finest counter-attacking sides in Europe. Full-backs Lucasz Piszczek and Marcel Schmelzer overlap time and time again while Greek Sokratis is expected to parnter Mathias Ginter in centre defence.
Julian Weigl is the shield in midfield, allowing the likes of Ousmane Dembele, Emre Mor, Gonzalo Castro and Mario Gotze to weave their magic upfront. In Pierre-EmerickAubameyang, Dortmund have one of the fastest if not deadliest strikers in the world.
Andre Schurrle is back in training and could make the bench, and so could star winger Marco Reus. Neven Subotic is confirmed to miss out but Sven Bender and Adrian Ramos are expected to be touch and go for this crucial European clash. Marc Bartra suffered a groin injury in the 5-1 win over Wolfsburg on the weekend and is another injury concern for Die Borussen.
Madrid won La Undecima in the 2015-16 season and many experts believe that Zinedine Zidane&’s side may be the first-ever team to defend their title in the Champions League&’s current format.
While they started the current season brightly, in recent games the Los Blancos have been a bit sluggish. Back-to-back draws with Villareal and Las Palmas have brought some exceptional pressure from media and fans alike.
A win at Dortmund would be the perfect riposte for the doubters, and their squad certainly has the ability to do so.
Keylor Navas remains one of the most underrated goalkeepers in the world, and has the talismanic Sergio Ramos in front of him to guard Madrid&’s goal. Ramos&’s partner in central defence is the fit-again Raphael Varane, and full-backs Nacho and Dani Carvajal provide some much-needed width.
They have a constant 4-3-3 formation, with Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and an in-form James Rodriguez expected to start.
Their forward line is their real weapon, with the iconic Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale on either side of either Karim Benzema or Alvaro Morata. Morata is definitely one for the future, but Zidane may just prefer the experienced Benzema for this crunch clash.
Madrid aren’t as badly hit by injuries as the hosts, but the losses of full-back Marcelo and defensive shield Casemiro will be sorely felt.
Super Stat: Borussia Dortmund have won their last three home matches against Real Madrid in all competitions!