Real Madrid earned a much-needed La Liga victory over Celta Vigo on Saturday, but Los Blancos have some problems to correct if they are to defeat German club Borussia Dortmund in Wednesday's important Champions League match.
Jose Mourinho's men defeated Celta Vigo 2-0 thanks to an early Gonzalo Higuain goal and a second-half penalty strike from Cristiano Ronaldo, but despite having a lot of scoring chances, Madrid were unable to break the game open in the first hour.
Madrid must capitalize on their scoring chances against Dortmund because the Bundesliga squad has a strong defense and doesn't give the ball away easily. Center-back Mats Hummels leads a physical Dortmund defense that is also well-positioned and fundamentally strong.
Dortmund allowed just one goal in their previous Champions League match against Manchester City, and it was from the penalty spot. Madrid allowed two goals to the Premier League club in their clash on Matchday 1, and were fortunate to win that game 3-2.
Madrid will not be able to mount multiple comebacks against Dortmund, so it's important that Los Blancos take an early lead and dominate possession.
To strike first on Wednesday, Madrid need a strong performance from Ronaldo and whoever starts at striker (Higuain or Karim Benzema).
Goals will be hard to come by in this match for Madrid, so the Spanish side must convert the few chances it will create. Dortmund has allowed just one goal in two Champions League matches this season.
Defending Dortmund will also be a difficult challenge for Madrid because of injuries to key players and the German club's wealth of attacking talent.
With left-backs Fabio Coentrao and Marcelo struggling to stay fit, Dortmund will be able to cause Madrid problems down the right side of the pitch.
Expect Dortmund forward Marco Reus as well as striker Robert Lewandowski to get plenty of chances to score in Wednesday's match, and unless Madrid dominate possession, the chances of the Spanish side winning will not be very good.
Madrid's performance against Celta Vigo and their injury concerns on defense are two things Mourinho will have to worry about going into the Dortmund match.
Real Madrid will need their best performance of the season to defeat Dortmund in the Champions League this week.