Lewandowski must repeat four-goal haul if Dortmund are to defeat Real
Champions League second-favourites (9/4) Real Madrid have scored 32 goals in Europe’s elite club competition this term, and are 5/4 to win their quarter-final second leg at Borussia Dortmund.
Jurgen Klopp, who steered the Bundesliga’s second-best side to the final last term, is staring down the barrel of bowing out. Coral have already stopped taking bets on Real reaching the semi-finals, while the hosts are 20/1 outsiders to somehow overhaul the Spanish giants.
Dortmund, who start at an 2/1 price to win on the night in 90 minutes, have suffered badly with injuries this term. It is simply because of this that their prospects of staying in Europe are so remote. Even a home draw with Madrid is 11/4.
Klopp does welcome back top-scorer Robert Lewandowski, who has netted 11 times in his last dozen Champions League appearances, from suspension here, however. His four-goal haul in last season’s semi sunk this opposition.
Bayern Munich-bound Poland international Lewandowski is a 7/1 shot to score two or more here. Dortmund need a repeat performance, without Real replying. A 4-0 home win would be enough to take them through, but comes in at 100/1.
A return for Lewandowski up top hardly offsets the absence of options in the Dortmund engine room. Klopp’s captain, Sebastian Kehl, must sit out suspended. Couple this ban for an experienced player with long-term miss Ilkay Gundogan and injury to Sven Bender, and midfield cover is wafer thin.
Oliver Kirch, a virtually unknown 31-year-old with just 88 minutes of Champions League experience to his name, looks likely to be thrown in at the deep end. Dortmund must pray the knock sustained by former Madrid flop Nuri Sahin doesn’t keep him out either. January signing Milos Jojic is on hand to deputise.
Carlo Ancelotti has injury problems of his own. First-choice full backs Alvaro Arbeloa and Marcelo are both out, but it gives Daniel Carvajal and Fabio Coentrao chances to impress.
News is more positive on Real icon Cristiano Ronaldo, who missed the La Liga outing between the two legs with a knee problem. The Portugal captain has trained since, however, and should be involved.
The Champions League Golden Boot looks Ronaldo’s to lose after 14 goals in just eight matches. His nearest challenger, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, is sitting the conclusion of another quarter – between Chelsea and his club PSG – out. That justifies an odds-on price of 1/10 for Ronaldo to be competition top-scorer.
Back Ronaldo for two goals or more at 3/1. Gareth Bale, who has four in his last three in all competitions and five in six European outings this term, is better value in the anytime market for Madrid at 7/4.
It really does look hopeless for Dortmund. Key components of their spine being out was painfully apparent in the first leg, so as that state of affairs has only worsened. Back Real on this rare occasion they don’t start as odds-on for the best value.