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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Real Madrid’s Night of Reckoning: Will They Do it, Will They Not?

Real Madrid are not a team known for engineering dramatic comebacks but tonight, in a Champions League evening, in front of a partisan Santiago Bernabeu home crowd and against a German enemy hell bent on finishing a destructive mission they started a week ago, they will need anything but.

The Los Blancos face a near impossible task of overturning a 4-1 first leg defeat at the hands of Borussia Dortmund who look a fine bet to advance to the final for only a second time in their history. I say near impossible because the German side have been simply sensational during their campaign this season and it will be catastrophic should they collapse in Spain and allow the 9-time champions to advance instead.

Both teams go into the clash having registered wins in their domestic league games with Dortmund winning 2-1 away at Fortuna Dusseldorf while Jose Mourinho’s men also registered a similar scoreline away to Atletico Madrid in the Madrid derby.

The two teams met in the group stages. The first leg at Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park ended on a 2-1 win for the German side who were also on the brink of winning the return leg at the Bernabeu but were outdone by a Mesut Ozil 89th minute goal which saw the game end 2-2.

The good news for Madrid is that their best player Cristiano Ronaldo has recovered from a thigh injury and will retake his position on the starting line-up while Angel Di Maria will also be available after sitting out in the last encounter following the birth of his daughter. BVB have no new injury worries and will likely retain the same lineup that overwhelmed the Spaniards last week. That Robert Lewandowski is fit should be a cause to worry for Los Merengues.

Methinks Madrid will pick the win in this game but won’t score enough goals to help them advance through.