Following Bayern Munich’s destruction of Barcelona at the Allianz Arena last night, the other semi final in the Champions League sees last year’s champions of both Germany and Spain face off as Borussia Dortmund face Real Madrid for the third time in this season’s competition.
In the group stage, Dortmund were only denied a famous win at the Bernabeu courtesy of a last-minute equaliser from Mesut Ozil while goals from Robert Lewandowski and Marcel Schmelzer were enough to give the Ruhr-based outfit a 2-1 win at the Westfalenstadion.
Indeed, those results, coupled with their dramatic progression against Malaga in the last eight should have seen Jurgen Klopp’s outfit come into this first leg full of confidence. However, the last 24 hours has seen the news break that Mario Gotze, one of the undoubted stars of not only this Dortmund team, but German and European football, has agreed to join Pep Guardiola and Bayern Munich at the beginning of next season after the recently-crowned Bundesliga champions elected to activate his release clause.
Gotze still looks set to start on against Los Blancos, while his manager has implored for the club’s supporters to offer their young starlet and the team their full support ahead of this testing encounter.
Klopp will at least be boosted by the opportunity to choose from a fully-fit squad with Mats Hummels now fully recovered from his hamstring injury. Along side Gotze, Marco Reus, Lewandowski and Ilkay Gundogan also look set to start.
Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho has already named his Real Madrid side that will start, with Sergio Ramos to start at right-back ahead of Alvaro Arbeloa, Gonzalo Higuain to start ahead of the injured Karim Benzema, while Angel Di Maria should be available.
“The Special One” is also sweating on the fitness of Luka Modric and Marcelo after both picked up injuries in the 3-1 win over Real Betis on Saturday, as he searches for a third Champions League triumph with three different clubs.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Borussia