Real Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund: Back Klopp's men to handle the pressure

30Apr 2013

Bajnokok Ligája


Real Madrid are looking to pull off an extraordinary comeback against Borussia Dortmund, but Kevin Hatchard thinks the Germans can complete the job they started spectacularly last week.


Real Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund, Champions League SF 2nd Leg, Tue 19:45 BST, Live on ITV1

Match Odds: Real 1.59, Dortmund 5.9, the draw 4.9


Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp says protecting a 4-1 first-leg lead at the Bernabeu won't be a walk in the park, and as understatements go that's a pretty big one. Robert Lewandowski's stunning four-goal salvo has put BVB within touching distance of the final, but there is still plenty of work to do.


Real boss Jose Mourinho insists anything's possible, but history is against his side. Opta tell us that only one team has ever managed to overturn a 4-1 first-leg deficit in the Champions League - Deportivo La Coruna beat AC Milan 4-0 in 2004. Of more comfort to Real fans will be the team's superb Champions League home record under Mourinho - they have won 14 out of 17 games, and ten of those victories were by at least a three-goal margin. Real know a 3-0 win would take them through to this year's final at Wembley.


Klopp has been keen to stress that his side won't shut up shop and look to solely defend, and he has hinted that Dortmund will react to whichever approach Real adopt. That's hardly surprising, as Dortmund are one of the best counter-attacking teams in Europe. When pressed on whether his young team would freeze on the big occasion, Klopp icily and simply replied 'no'. He has plenty of evidence to back up that assertion. BVB are the only unbeaten team left in the competition, and in three matches against Real this season they have won twice and been denied a third victory at the death by a Mesut Ozil equaliser. It's also worth noting that Dortmund aren't some gang of callow novices - they did the league and cup double in Germany last season, and won the Bundesliga the year before. These boys can handle pressure.


With a three-goal deficit to wipe out, it's hard to see Real settling for a slow start. In La Liga Real have led at half-time in 10 of their 16 home games, but in the Champions League they have held the half-time advantage just twice in five home matches. The market clearly expects goals. Over 2.5 Goals is available at a stingy 1.42, and I can't recall seeing a match that has Over 3.5 Goals trading as low as 2.08.


Cristiano Ronaldo is back to lead the line for Los Merengues after missing the weekend's 2-1 derby win at Atletico with a thigh injury. The Portuguese superstar is the competition's top scorer with 12 goals, and he has netted in each of his last six UCL matches. Ronaldo and Dortmund left-back Marcel Schmelzer are the only players to have featured in every minute of their teams' respective Champions League campaigns. Ronaldo was gifted a goal in the first leg, but he was kept pretty quiet on the whole as Dortmund dominated. This time around Ronaldo is a miserly 1.62 in the To Score market, and he is 4.1 to be First Goalscorer.


Dortmund hot-shot Lewandowski rightly took the plaudits for his magnificent display in the first leg, a mind-blowing display of close control and ice-cool finishing. Mourinho raged after the match that his players hadn't put the Pole under enough physical pressure, and Real will surely put more effort into shackling him this time around. That focus on Lewandowski could open up space for his attacking partners-in-crime Mario Gotze and Marco Reus, and I fancy the latter in the To Score market at 4.4. Reus netted in a 2-2 draw at the Bernabeu, and he scored in all three of his side's away games in the group stage. Real will be forced to commit men forward as they chase a glorious comeback, and I think Reus can use his blistering pace to profit from the space they leave behind. It's also worth noting that Reus was a constant threat in the first leg, teeing up his side's second goal and winning the penalty that led to the fourth.


Real will be without injured full-backs Marcelo and Alvaro Arbeloa, but other than that they have a clean bill of health. Dortmund rested all of their key players at the weekend, and both Gotze and Ilkay Gundogan are thought to have shaken off knocks. The only doubt is over right-back Lukas Piszczek, who faces a late fitness test on a groin injury.


I understand why Real are favourites given their quality and their home record, but they haven't beaten Klopp's boys in three attempts, and they were battered last week. I think 1.59 is too short for the home win, especially if Dortmund can score early and kill the tie. Backing Dortmund with a one-goal advantage on the Asian Handicap at 2.05 looks sensible to me, but you may also be tempted to back Dortmund Draw No Bet at 4.7, which returns your stake in the event of a draw.


Recommended Bet

Back Marco Reus to score at 4.4

Back Borussia Dortmund +1.0 on the Asian Handicap at 2.05



Viewed 463 times

Keywords: Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Klopp, pressure

Source: Betfair

Comments and Feedback

There are no comments yet. Be the first to comment this article!

Register or log in to submit your comment.