Real Madrid depleted by injuries ahead of Borussia Dortmund meeting in the Champions League

 

Borussia Dortmund entertain Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday with the Germans eager to take advantage of their injury-hit Spanish opponents by grabbing top spot in Group D.

Germany midfielder Sami Khedira returned to training on Sunday, a rare piece of positive injury news for Jose Mourinho's Real team who are two points ahead of Dortmund in the group.

Full backs Marcelo, Alvaro Arbeloa and Fabio Coentrao returned from international duty with problems of varying seriousness, Marcelo being ruled out for around three months with a fractured bone in his foot.

Mourinho deployed midfielder Michael Essien at left back for Saturday's 2-0 La Liga win at home to Celta Vigo with Sergio Ramos moving to right back and inexperienced teenager Raphael Varane slotting in alongside Pepe in central defence.

"The four guys at the back played very well," Mourinho's assistant Aitor Karanka said. "Celta only had one chance with a header at the end and our defence did some fantastic work.

"Sergio knows the (right back) position, Rafa delivers when he is used and Pepe was the same as always."

Real's prolific Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo gashed his knee but is expected to be available for the trip to Germany.

Mourinho will need all the fit bodies he can muster if Dortmund emulate the form they showed in a 1-1 draw at Manchester City earlier this month.

City needed a last-gasp equaliser to snatch a point against the Bundesliga champions.

Dortmund's 2-1 home defeat by Schalke 04 on Saturday did little to dampen spirits ahead of Wednesday's match.

"We did not play well against Schalke and there is nothing we can do to change that," said coach Juergen Klopp. "But the match against Real Madrid remains a cool game."

Klopp should have left back Marcel Schmelzer and midfielder Ilkay Guendogan back after they missed Saturday's game along with Jakub Blaszczykowski who will remain sidelined for at least two more months.

Playmaker Mario Goetze is also set to return after missing the Ruhr Valley derby, infusing their midfield with the creativity and spark that was missing against Schalke.

The Germans started that game with a 3-5-2 system but it was dropped after 25 minutes in favour of a 4-4-2 lineup that is likely to be used against Real.

"We will show a completely different face against Real," said defender Mats Hummels. "There will also be the return of some of our injured players."

Reuters

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence