Borussia Dortmund’s preparations for the first leg of their Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid have been hampered by yesterday’s revelation that Mario Gotze will be leaving the club for Bayern Munich in a £31.5m deal at the end of the season. The news sees the playmaker end a 12-year association with the club that has been difficult for fans to take.
Jose Mourinho’s men travel to Westfalenstadion for the second time in this season’s Champions League, after Dortmund ran out 2-1 winners in October’s Group D encounter. Despite being favourites to advance to a Wembley final, Real would be foolish to underestimate their German opponents, who qualified ahead of the La Liga champions as Group D winners.
Dortmund remain the only unbeaten side in this year’s tournament, after a late show saw them overturn a 2-1 deficit to qualify for the semi-finals, at Malaga’s expense. Jurgen Klopp's side will be determined to thwart the competition’s top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo, who has netted 11 goals in Europe this season.
KICK-OFF: Wednesday, 7.45pm
Real Madrid 2 (Pepe, Ozil) Borussia Dortmund 2 (Rues, Arbeloa og), Champions League, group stage, November 2012
Borussia Dortmund 2 (Lewandowski, Schmelzer) Real Madrid 1 (Ronaldo), group stage, October 2012
Borussia Dortmund have only won one of their six competitive encounters with Real Madrid (D3, L2).
Dortmund have the best defensive record of the sides left in the competition with nine goals conceded this season.
This is the third consecutive season that Real Madrid have reached the semi-finals of the Champions League. The last time they reached the final, however, was back in 2002.
Dortmund have the best home record of the four sides still standing in this season's competition, having won all five of the matches on their own turf.
Borussia Dortmund to win: 2.6
Real Madrid to win: 2.7
TV: Live on Sky Sports 2 at 7.45pm, highlights on Sky Sports 1 at 12.00am (Thu)