Tonight is another big game for Real Madrid superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese will be out for revenge against Borussia Dortmund in his 100th game in the Champions League.
He can crown this impressive number by equalling the record for most goals in a single Champions League campaign (14) currently held by Lionel Messi’s, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Jose Altafini.
Ronaldo has already scored 13 goals so far this season – his personal competition record – and has at least both quarter-finals against the Germans to beat the historic landmark.
The Real Madrid forward is also the competitions third-highest goal-scorer with 63 goals and closes in on Lionel Messi (67) and Raul (71).
His side can extend their impressive record of scoring in 33 successive Champions League games, which means they haven’t failed to score in three years.
Real also haven’t lost in nine games in the competition and the last team to beat the Los Blancos was, of course, tonight’s opponents Borussia Dortmund.
The Germans have lost only one of their last five Champions League meetings with Real Madrid (W2 D2 L1) and have won their last three Champions League quarter-final ties.
Jurgen Klopp’s side, however, will look much different compared to the team that eliminated Real last year. Subotic, Schmelzer, Gundogan, Bender and Blaszczykowski are all injured, while Mario Gotze has left the club.
Dortmund’s main striker, Robert Lewandowski, makes the seventh starter from last year to miss the tie, following his suspension. The Polish striker was involved in 20 of Dortmund’s 40 goals in the Champions League since the start of last season.
With Marcelo, Arbeloa, Jese and Khedira all side-lined, Carlo Ancelotti has his own injury worries, but Real Madrid still head as clear favourites into the game.
If Cristiano Ronaldo can score in his 11th successive game, things will be very difficult for Dortmund.
Inspite of Dortmund’s long injury list and the lesser quality in their second row, my prediction is a 3-0 home victory. That said, I don’t foresee this to be an easy game for Whites – Klopp’s men are always up for a fight – but Real might hurt Dortmund on the counter-attack.
What’s your prediction for the replay of last year’s semi-final? Have your say in the comment section below.