Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Preview: Real Madrid - Dortmund

Chinmay Pandya gives The Football Front a preview of Dortmund's trip to Real Madrid.

Madrid take on the High flying Dortmund at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu tonight in a feisty affair between two extremely talented teams. Few would have doubted Dortmund's European potential this season, but even fewer people would have predicted them to be top of the table after 3 match days. Well, this match could mean the difference between the 1st and 2nd position in the group. While Borussia Dortmund head into their Champions League rematch against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu Tuesday on the heels of a dispiriting 0-0 draw at home to Stuttgart on Saturday, Madrid head into the game after a terrific all-round display trashing Zaragoza at home, 4-0. Jurgen Klopp told reporters that the draw felt more "like a defeat," leaving the two-time defending Bundesliga champions 11 points adrift of a sublime Bayern Munich side displaying absolutely dominant early season form.

TEAM NEWS

Real Madrid will be without injured France striker Karim Benzema when Borussia Dortmund visit as he has a thigh muscle problem. Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain, who has netted seven in the league but none in Europe so far, is the obvious replacement. Captain Sebastian Kehl was taken off with a broken nose during Saturday's 0-0 draw with Stuttgart in the Bundesliga. Manager Jurgen Klopp said that he is training with a mask to protect his nose but remains a doubt.

ON THE TACTICAL FRONT:

After what we’ve seen from Dortmund this season, especially away at City and at home to Madrid, games against Dortmund usually turn out to be midfield battles, with a extremely disciplined Dortmund midfield consisting of Reus, Gotze, Gro├čkreutz sitting in front of a solid Gundogan and Kehl (assuming he’s fit by then) should prove to be a jam-packed midfield, very difficult to break through. On the Other hand, a technically accomplished and an intelligent midfield that Madrid possess, Madrid have the tools to get past the midfield but the same can be said about City’s midfield against Dortmund at the Etihad last time out, but they weren’t able to expose Dortmund’s defence. Tight midfield, pressing higher up the field, forcing the opposition to make mistakes, and then counter attacking with menace pretty much sums up Dortmund as a force in the Bundesliga in the past seasons and in Europe this season. As Madrid push up to dominate the match, and create chances could that be their undoing? Or with the amazing talent they have at their disposal, and with some determination, could they get past the Dortmund midfield and expose their defence? We’re going to find out soon.


While the figure might seen congested, it is supposed to show the cohesiveness of Dortmund’s midfield. It shows Mardid while in position, with Alonso sitting in front of the 2 central defenders and Modric in a fairly advanced position this encounter might just be an epic encounter between two tactically astute and world class coaches in Mourinho and Klopp, a feast for the neutrals.

Dortmund have been off pace in the Bundesliga lately, You don't win a league of the Bundesliga's calibre two-times running without quality and mental toughness in equal measure, so I expect a show of resolve at the Bernabeu. Still, it seems that there is a sense of unease around Dortmund that could turn into panic if Real Madrid were to start fast.

This article was written by Chinmay Pandya, you can find his work at http://nimblefootwork.blog.com/ and you can follow him on Twitter: @_thesoccerist

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