Last season saw the German side, who were the beaten finalists in the competition, destroy Real Madrid’s hopes of a tenth European Cup in the semi-final after smashing Real Madrid 5-1 in the first leg, reports Xinhua.
Although three late goals almost saw Madrid pull off a miracle at the Bernabeu in the return leg, it was not to be and the side, then coached by Jose Mourinho, said goodbye to Europe yet again.
Despite last season’s disappointment, Real Madrid will go into Wednesday’s game as favourites, after recovering from two defeats in less than a week with a 5-0 win at home to Rayo Vallecano Saturday night.
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti doesn’t appear to have any new injury concerns, other than the long term absentees Sami Khedira, Alvaro Arbeloa and Jese Rodriguez who are recovering from knee injuries and the return of Iker Casillas in goal and Luka Modric in midfield are the only expected changes in the Madrid line up.
Modric missed the weekend game with flu, while Casillas is first choice for Ancelotti in his side’s European games.
Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp will have to make changes and the Borussia eleven which takes to the pitch Wednesday will be considerably different to the one which emerged triumphant a year ago.
Mario Gotze left at the end of the season to join bitter rivals, Bayern Munich, who have just been proclaimed as champions of Germany, while Neven Subotic, Jakub Blaszczkowski, Marcel Schmelzer and Ilkay Gundogan are all injured and striker Robert Lewandowski, who scored four goals against Madrid a year ago, is suspended for the first leg.
Klopp tried to make light of the absentees in the pages of pro-Madrid sports paper, Diario AS, “I think Real Madrid are in top form, but anything is possible in football and we will see what happens,” he said.
With Real Madrid still locked in a three-way race for the Spanish BBVA Primera Liga title, Ancelotti will hope his players can assure their qualification at the Bernabeu by winning by a margin that will render the return leg little more than a formality, while title rivals slug it out in one of the other quarter-finals.
Borussia will look to do the opposite: their aim is to remain in contention in Germany, where their noisy fans and Lewandowski will be vital.