Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid
The UEFA Champions League returns this week, as Dortmund hosts the nine-time European Cup winners in a classic match in Germany.
After the first phase, Real Madrid has the advantage, sitting atop the group after winning both of the two games they've already played. Dortmund is right behind with one win and one draw.
Tomorrow's match may be the deciding factor in determining which team will finish at the top of Group D.
With injuries and recent losses coming into play, who will win the match?
Where: Signal-Iduna-Park, Dortmund, Germany
When: Wednesday, October 24, 2:45 p.m. EST
TV: Fox Soccer Plus
Live Stream: Fox Soccer 2Go
The Bundesliga champions have struggled a bit lately, winning only one of their last six matches. Their most recent loss came at the hands of Schalke 04.
On October 20, Schalke silenced the crowd in the derby, challenging Dortmund the entire match. Dortmund's defensive performance was not at its best, and the team could not squeak out a draw.
Their recent loss to Schalke suggests this upcoming duel with Real Madrid will be difficult for them as well.
In 23 previous away games against German teams, Real Madrid has 16 losses and just one win. The lone victory was back over a decade ago in 2000.
Clearly, history is not on their side.
Not only will Real Madrid be fighting against their past, but they'll be doing so in a very energetic stadium of passionate fans.
Will Injuries Be a Factor?
Both teams are dealing with piling injuries that may affect their game on Wednesday.
Dortmund's Marcel Schmelzer and Ilkay Gundogan will not be playing, and the team is uncertain of Mario Gotze's status.
Manager Jurgen Klopp was forced to change his formation to 4-4-2 against Schalke, but it didn't work and the team lost to the rival.
Klopp regretted the move and expressed that the team needs to play better against Real.
Real is facing their own injury woes, as three of their fullbacks, Alvaro Arbeloa, Marcelo Vieira and Fabio Coentrao, will be absent as well.
Cristiano Ronaldo also sustained a knee gash, but is expected to play.
Who Will Win?
Dortmund played quite well in their previous Champions League match against Manchester City, allowing only one goal off of a penalty shot, but their loss to Schalke 04 will be the motivating force entering tomorrow's match.
Real Madrid's lineup changes serve as extra inspiration, as they only have three fit defenders at the moment.
Dortmund's problem, however, isn't in getting to Madrid's back line. It's getting past their front men to diminish any explosive attacks.
Real Madrid's front men include Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil, Angel Di María and Gonzalo Higuain and Benzema. All have produced well for the team so far.
Ronaldo has already scored nine goals in eight games played. Ozil and Di Maria both have one assist, and Higuain and Benzema have five goals between them.
This is a deep front line, and they can more than make up for their lack of defensive help.
Said Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain, even with these injuries, "this is a squad where everyone can play where necessary and that's what we're doing".
Real Madrid will win this battle and earn the team's first win against Germany in 12 years.