After losing to Borussia Dortmund two weeks ago, Real Madrid will be desperately searching for a victory as the two sides take the field once again for the Champions League game.
The match will start the second round of fixtures in Group D, which has been dubbed "the Group of Death." Dortmund and Real Madrid were champions of Germany and Spain, respectively, and they are joined by English title-winners Manchester City and Ajax, the top team in Holland.
Every point must be earned in this extraordinarily competitive group. Madrid and Dortmund are both in favorable positions as they currently occupy the top two spots.
But either team could be facing a much less promising picture if they fail to come away with points in this match. Here is how this showdown will affect each team going forward.
Player for player, Barcelona is the only team that can claim to be as talented as Madrid. This made the Galacticos the favorites to advance atop this group heading into the tournament, and it will be a monumental disappointment if they are unable to move on to the next round.
After earning six points from the first two matches, Madrid sits in second place behind Dortmund. A victory would put Jose Mourinho’s team back on top of the group and in a promising position.
The team would be in firm control of its own destiny, and could ensure advancement with a draw and another victory in the remaining matches. But another loss—or even a draw—could cause serious concerns.
If Madrid stays at six points or improves to seven, it will open the door for City. Roberto Mancini’s men have not performed well in Europe and need three victories to advance.
The Citizens will be playing aggressively and will force open games in which anything can happen given the attacking talent all four clubs have. Madrid would do well to avoid this much uncertainty by taking down Dortmund on Tuesday.
The Germans have a fantastic opportunity to move four points clear of the rest of their competition.
A victory would give BVB 10 points from four matches, putting them through to the knockout stage. Even if they lose both of their remaining contests, they are still guaranteed at least a second-place finish in the Group of Death if they beat Madrid.
Being in this position is a testament to the team’s talent, and they have all the motivation they need to earn three points at the Bernabeu. Even if they come away with a draw, they will be in an extremely favorable position.
If they cede the top spot to Madrid and lose the match, hope still remains, but Dortmund’s match with Manchester City will be crucial. How the English side responds to their failures in the first round of matches will have a significant impact on this group.
Ultimately, both teams are in an excellent place and should be able to advance. This match will likely determine which team advances in the top spot.