Madrid, Borussia aim to control group of death
Real Madrid go in search of quick revenge against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday in the Champions League after suffering a 2-1 reversal in Germany only two weeks ago. Match boxsports Updated: Nov 06, 2012 01:16 IST
Real Madrid go in search of quick revenge against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday in the Champions League after suffering a 2-1 reversal in Germany only two weeks ago.
That win for the Germans mean Borussia top Group D on 7 points, 1 more than Madrid, with Ajax on 3 and Manchester City on 1.
At the halfway stage of a tough group Tuesday's clash will go a long way to deciding which side, if any, can be confident of qualification.
Madrid have hit 13 goals in three games since their German setback, including a 4-0 home win over Zaragoza on Saturday.German international Sami Khedira missed that victory at the weekend, after struggling with muscular problems since international duty last month but the combative midfielder could possibly return on Tuesday and he is sure his side will make it out of Group D.
"Madrid will qualify and one other side, I'll leave it open as to who but obviously being German it would be nice for me if it were Dortmund and I think they deserve to after winning two consecutive leagues, and they are doing well in the Champions this year," he said.
If Khedira does not recover in time Madrid have options in the centre, Xabi Alonso who also did not feature against Zaragoza owing to suspension, will almost definitely start.
Luka Modric and Michael Essien filled in against Zaragoza and were both rewarded with their first goals for the club - one of the two is likely to be called upon to pair with Alonso.
Essien could even be preferred at the back where Madrid have suffered losses in recent weeks.
Madrid director Emilio Butragueno is fully aware of the importance of a victory against the Germans on Tuesday. "It's a vital game," the club legend told Spanish TV. "We want to be top of the group because the ties in the last 16 can be very complicated if you don't finish first, so we can't fail on Tuesday. After we have to go to Manchester, which will be a very difficult because City have to win their last three games. We cannot fail in our home games."
Statistics say that is unlikely, Madrid have won their last seven Champions League ties in the Santiago Bernabeu.
Dortmund are yet to win an away game since their return to the competition last season and have to go all the way back to 2003 for their last away victory, at AC Milan. Both sides met in the competition that year in the second group stage as Madrid won 2-1 at home and confirmed qualification ahead of Borussia with a 1-1 draw in Germany.
Arsenal’s faltering form a concern
Gelsenkirchen: Schalke 04 are aiming to add to Arsenal's faltering recent form when they host the Gunners here on Tuesday looking for a second win over the Gunners to stay top of Group B. Schalke stunned the Gunners 2-0 at Emirates Stadium a fortnight ago.
Both Schalke and Arsenal suffered away losses on Saturday.
City to banish blues against Ajax
Manchester: Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany insists his side will keep their faltering campaign alive with a victory in their do or die clash against Ajax on Tuesday.
Roberto Mancini's team are on the verge of making an early exit for the second successive season after taking one point from their first three ties.