Marco Reus Will Be Biggest Threat to Real Madrid's Success in Champions League

Karl Matchett@@karlmatchettFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2014

Dortmund's Marco Reus celebrates his side's third goal during a soccer match of German Bundesliga between VfB Stuttgart and Borussia Dortmund in Stuttgart, Germany, Saturday, March 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
Michael Probst

Real Madrid's excellent season so far, as they aim for a treble of successes, shows no real sign of slowing down as they enter the final weeks of 2013-14 in the last eight of the Champions League, the final of the Copa del Rey and in third place in La Liga, just three points off the top spot.

Borussia Dortmund stand in their way at the quarter-final stage of Europe's biggest cup competition, with Real favourites to progress as they look for their 10th title in the tournament.

Even so, BVB have plenty of talent of their own ready to upset Real, with last year's runners-up likely to look to the in-form Marco Reus to be the main man in their plan.


Recent Form

Reus missed four out of five league games between the middle of February and the middle of March for Dortmund, but since returning to the side, he has been in unstoppable form.

Four goals in his last three games have helped Dortmund to seven points, with just a draw against Champions League-chasing rivals Schalke seeing him draw a blank. A goal within a half-hour of his return against Hannover was a start, while Reus hit all three at the weekend in the 3-2 win over Stuttgart.

That hat-trick turned the game around entirely after Stuttgart had led 2-0 early on.

Reus has also been at his creative best, fashioning nine chances for team-mates in those two-and-a-third matches, completing nine take-ons and getting seven shots on target, hitting 14 in total to yield those four goals. 


Direct Opponent

Playing from a left-sided attacking role to start with, Reus' direct man-marker would be Real Madrid right-back Dani Carvajal.

Andres Kudacki

With Alvaro Arbeloa out injured, Carvajal is the only likely candidate unless he suffers an untimely injury. The Spaniard is quick to attack and get forward frequently—as evidenced by his goal against Rayo at the weekend—but his pace and stamina also allow him to get back into defensive positions quickly.

However, he has his limitations as a defender, notably in following players who cut infield between and behind him and the right-sided centre-back, an area which Reus could really look to exploit.


Quality Elsewhere

Even if Madrid are to stop Reus, they cannot afford to divert too much of their attentions his way.

Frank Augstein

Leave an extra man on the German international, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan could surge through unchecked, while others will link from deeper or from the right flank with deadly striker Robert Lewandowski.

Of course, Real will not have forgotten his four-goal haul last term en route to the final against the Spanish side.

Reus is the big threat, but an ever bigger one would be to ignore the quality that Dortmund have all over the pitch, in spite of their injury issues this season.

Stats via