Holders Actual Madrid full their Champions League group stage at dwelling to Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night time.
Right here, we take a look at some speaking factors forward of the sport.
What’s on the road?
Actual are within the uncommon place of getting to accept second greatest in Group H. The European champions go into the ultimate spherical of fixtures three factors behind Tottenham and, having taken just one level from their two conferences with Spurs, will end runners-up on head-to-head even when Dortmund are crushed and Mauricio Pochettino’s aspect lose to APOEL. Dortmund’s incentive is definitely higher with third spot guaranteeing Europa League soccer within the new yr. To ebook their place, Dortmund should match APOEL’s consequence. A nervy night time for the Germans lies in retailer.
Actual might be holding an eye fixed out elsewhere
At this stage of the competitors Actual have usually gained their group. Ending second ought to – in principle at the very least – current them with a harder task when the competitors resumes in 2018. Actual boss Zinedine Zidane was fast to emphasize forward of the Dortmund sport that there’s “no easy draw” within the Champions League whether or not you end first or second. However assembly group winners reminiscent of Manchester Metropolis within the final 16 may make them extra susceptible given their latest kind.
Is the ‘BBC’ a busted flush?
Actual’s strikeforce of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo are beneath higher scrutiny than ever earlier than. Bale might be lacking once more with the recurring calf damage that has restricted him to solely 28 minutes of motion for the reason that finish of September. So the main target might be on Benzema and Ronaldo, who wasted one other hat-full of possibilities between them in Saturday’s Zero-Zero draw at Athletic Bilbao. The pair have managed two objectives in LaLiga this season, so a Champions League tonic is so as.
Do Dortmund have an opportunity?
On the face of it, no. The partitions look like closing in on Dortmund coach Peter Bosz, whose aspect have been among the many Champions League also-rans and sliding down the Bundesliga since October, not helped by throwing away a four-goal lead to attract Four-Four with bitter rivals Schalke. Injured quartet Marco Reus, Mario Gotze, Maximilian Philipp and Castro all miss the journey to the Bernabeu however the presence of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has scored in his final three appearances in opposition to Actual, and Andrei Yarmolenko offers them a puncher’s probability.
Ramos wants to indicate management
Telling Sergio Ramos to maintain his cool could be the identical as urging the proverbial leopard to alter its spots. However Actual may actually do with a spot of management proper now. Ramos was despatched off for the 24th time in his profession – and a document 19th in La Liga – when he tangled with Athletic Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz on Saturday night time. Regardless of the provocation on Wednesday night time, Ramos must hold a lid on his feelings and supply an instance that his team-mates can comply with.
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