Yesterday Bayern Munich took an emphatic first step towards qualifying for the Champions League final in May. Today Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund will be looking to do the same thing. Madrid are the clear favorites, though no one who has paid attention to the soccer world over the past few months is writing off Dortmund.
These two teams have met twice already this season in the Champions League group stages with Dortmund winning 2-1 in Germany and the teams drawing 2-2 in Spain. Dortmund went on to win the group thanks in large part to those two results, but things are likely to be a lot different today.
Our Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid examines the match and explains that the key for Los Merengues could be how Jose Mourinho sets up his defense and how they deal with Dortmund's potentially lethal attack.
If Real Madrid is to prevail this next Wednesday, The Special One might need yet another brilliant performance from Mesut Özil and Cristiano Ronaldo. Both of them have been playing quite well lately, and they are arguably the team's two best players. The Portuguese coach might feel uncomfortable playing with Ramos as the team's right back. Arbeloa is suspended after seeing a red card in the second leg against Galatasaray and Essien is still recovering from his injury. Sergio Ramos can certainly succeed at that position, but he's not very reliable off set pieces and his consistency isn't trust-worthy. Still, if Real's number 4 plays focused enough, he has the quality to stop Marco Reus or whoever Jürgen Klopp throws at him.
Another key match-up to watch is how Raphael Varane and Pepe deal with Dortmund's physical striker Robert Lewandowski and Managing Madrid break that down as well.