Revenge a dish best served cold for Real against depleted Dortmund
Real Madrid are unbeaten at home against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, recording three wins and a draw, yet they still bowed out of Europe’s elite club competition to them in the semi-finals last season.
Motivation, as if it were needed, is there in abundance for the 3/1 second-favourites to go all the way. Dortmund start as 8/1 outsiders to beat Real in the Bernabeu, and 7/1 shots to qualify from this tie, because Jurgen Klopp is still missing key components of his side’s spine.
Adding to the absence of Neven Subotic, Marcel Schmelzer, Ilkay Gundogan, Jakub Blaszczykowski and Sven Bender, is suspended top-scorer Robert Lewandowski. His four-goal haul against the Spanish giants last season, which admittedly came at the Westfalenstadion, proved pivotal in sending Dortmund through to the final.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is set to deputise up top for Poland international and Bayern Munich-bound Lewandowski. Back him for a goal anytime at 5/2. Marco Reus might be a better alternative at the same price here, however, as he netted in last season’s group stage meeting in Madrid.
Brazilian wing back Marcelo is the only new absentee from Carlo Ancelotti’s squad, so Fabio Coentrao gets a chance to come in from the cold. There was talk Real might play Gareth Bale in the left back berth, but he is needed further up the field and 5/4 to score anytime.
Madrid are odds-on favourites both for victory in this home leg at 4/11, and to advance to the semis at 1/5. If Cristiano Ronaldo’s form in March (eight goals in seven appearances in all competitions) is any indicator, then he is guaranteed to score. Back the Portugal captain, and leading Champions League marksman this season, to net the opener at 9/4.
Punters may be tempted to pile money on a Real defender finding the target here. Both Pepe and Sergio Ramos managed goals against this opposition last season. They are 8/1 and 5/1 chances to score here.
Dortmund have failed to win three of their last five fixtures coming into this encounter in Madrid. Real lost their latest El Clasico clash with Barcelona, but that is only one of two La Liga defeats the capital club have endured all season.
Nine-time European Cup winners Madrid have always scored twice as home when facing Bundesliga outfit Dortmund, so odds on a 2-0 victory look attractive at 7/1.