Real Madrid vs Wolfsburg preview: Spanish giants on verge of shock European exit

A look ahead to the Champions League fixture at the Santiago Bernabeu

James Mariner@MarinerIndy
Tuesday 12 April 2016 12:46
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It’s a big game for…

GARETH BALE: The Welshman was left on the bench for the weekend victory over Eibar in the hope of keeping him in prime condition for tonight’s return leg against last eight newcomers Wolfsburg. One of a number of Real players to underperform in defeat in Germany last week, the forward has scored in just one of his last five matches and has yet to rediscover his form from before his calf injury. His backing up of Cristiano Ronaldo tonight could have a big bearing on whether 2014 winners Real reach the semi-finals for a sixth successive season.

Best stat…

The last two seasons in which Wolfsburg met Spanish opposition – against Atletico Madrid in the Uefa Cup in 1999/2000 and Villarreal in the Europa League in 2009/10, an English side lost the final of that competition after extra time (Arsenal to Galastasaray in 2000 and Fulham to Atletico Madrid in 2010). Wolfsburg trailed 1-0 at the interval in both their previous matches in Spain before levelling in the second half.

Remember when…

Real Madrid welcomed German opposition to the Bernabeu in the shape of Schalke in the last-16 last season – and were almost dumped out as they lost 4-3 at home, squeezing through 5-4 on aggregate. Former Real striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar returned to haunt his old side with two goals as Carlo Ancelotti’s side were made to work for progression to the last eight.

Player to watch…

JULIAN DRAXLER

The German midfielder has been in sparkling form in this season’s competition, including scoring twice in their victory in Gent in the last round. The versatile 22-year-old has been linked with Arsenal and Manchester United in recent campaigns and is knocking on the door of the Germany squad, having won just 17 caps and not having featured since October 2014.

Past meeting…

Wolfsburg 2 (Rodriguez pen, Arnold) Real Madrid 0, Champions League, April 2016

Form guide…

Real Madrid: WWWWLW

Wolfsburg: WLDLWD

Vital information…

Kick-off: 7.45pm BST

TV: Live on BT Sport 2 (Highlights Wednesday, ITV)

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