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Real Madrid can shade unheralded battle of the defences in Dortmund

Real Madrid are in the Champions League semi finals for the second time in as many seasons and for the second consecutive year it’s German opposition who’ll be aiming to eliminate them – not good news when Los Merengues have won just once in 24 European trips to Germany. However only a spectacular last-five-minute disintegration from Malaga saved Borussia Dortmund’s skin in their quarter final second leg and Madrid can overcome defensive injuries to limit their hosts to under 1.5 goals at 6/10 with Coral.

Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid meet in the second Champions League semi final of the week on Wednesday in a match that promises to be an edge-of-the-seat attacking cracker and as a result it’s defensive strength that could prove the key to progression in the tie. The prelude to this semi final in the heart of the Ruhr has been one of convergent fortunes when it comes to the availability of key defence-men.

Jose Mourinho has the headache of being without first-choice full backs Alvaro Arbeloa and Marcelo, necessitating a reshuffle that will see Sergio Ramos shunted to right back. Conversely Dortmund welcome back their captain Mats Hummels, an assured defender whose assurance on the ball serves to relieve pressure from his team-mates.

Surprisingly the Germans seem to fare better without Hummels in the starting line up, with Die Schwarzgelben yet to lose in the eight games they’ve played this term in which he didn’t start.

It’s Real who possess the stronger away defensive record, with the anomaly of their second leg defeat against Galatasaray the only away game in 11 since the turn of the year in which they’ve allowed more than a single goal. Dortmund have been more generous hosts of late, conceding four goals in their last three games.

That Galatasary blip aside Madrid’s form on the road is vastly improved of late with wins against Barcelona and Manchester United in their last six away outings and unsurprisingly Cristiano Ronaldo has been at the forefront of their raiding parties, with the magisterial Madeiran pouching 10 goals in that sequence. Ronaldo is 4/5 to score at anytime during the clash at Signal Iduna Park.