Real Madrid CF can finish no higher than second in Group H as they prepare for the latest instalment of their rivalry with Borussia Dortmund, who are attempting to claim the section’s UEFA Europa League qualifying spot.

• Real Madrid have ten points, three behind leaders Tottenham Hotspur FC, but they cannot overtake the English side due to their inferior head-to-head record.

• Dortmund have two points, level with Tottenham’s final opponents APOEL FC, who drew 1-1 both away and home against the German club. In case both matchday six games are drawn Dortmund will be qualified due to superior goal difference in all matches. In case both Dortmund and APOEL win or lose, the final rankings will depend on the number of goals scored and conceded in these last two matches.

• The Spanish team won 3-1 in Dortmund on matchday two, ending a three-game winless run against the Bundesliga side.

Previous meetings
• The clubs’ record from six previous meetings in Spain is four wins for Madrid, none for Dortmund and two draws.

• In last season’s group stage, both contests finished 2-2. Madrid twice led in Dortmund, through Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphaël Varane; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and, in the 87th minute, André Schürrle replied for Thomas Tuchel’s BVB.

Dortmund secured first place in the section by coming from 2-0 down to snatch a point in Spain on matchday six. Karim Benzema’s double (28, 53) had put Madrid in command, but goals from Aubameyang (60) and Marco Reus (88) gave the visitors a valuable point.

• The line-ups at the Santiago Bernabéu on 7 December 2016 were:
Madrid: Navas, Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo, Casemiro, Modrić (Kroos 63), Lucas Vázquez, James Rodríguez, Benzema (Morata 85), Ronaldo.
Dortmund: Weidenfeller, Piszczek, Bartra, Papastathopoulos, Schmelzer, Weigl, Castro (Rode 80), Pulišić (Emre Mor 61), Dembélé, Schürrle (Reus 61), Aubameyang.

• The pair also met in the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, Madrid prevailing 3-2 on aggregate en route to lifting the trophy. Gareth Bale, Isco and Ronaldo earned Carlo Ancelotti’s Madrid a 3-0 first-leg lead before Dortmund, coached by Jürgen Klopp, narrowed the deficit with a 2-0 victory in Germany through two Reus strikes.

• The line-ups for that first leg on 2 April 2014 were:
Madrid: Casillas, Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Fábio Coentrão, Alonso, Modrić, Isco (Illarramendi 72), Bale, Benzema (Morata 75), Ronaldo (Casemiro 80).
Dortmund: Weidenfeller, Piszczek (Schieber 67), Papastathopoulos, Hummels, Durm, Kehl (Jojić 74), Nuri Şahin, Grosskreutz, Mkhitaryan (Hofmann 64), Reus, Aubameyang.

• The teams also faced off in the group stage of the 2012/13 competition when Dortmund finished above Madrid with the help of a 2-1 home win – Robert Lewandowski and Marcel Schmelzer scoring either side of Ronaldo – and a 2-2 draw in Madrid where Reus again featured on the scoresheet.

• The clubs were reunited in the semi-finals that season and Dortmund won the first leg 4-1 at home, Lewandowski getting all four goals and sending his team through despite a 2-0 reverse in Madrid where Benzema and Sergio Ramos scored.

• Roman Weidenfeller is the solitary survivor of the sides’ meetings in the 2002/03 second group stage, when Madrid won 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabéu and then drew 1-1 in Dortmund. Zidane played in both matches.

• Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc and youth-team coordinator Lars Ricken played in Dortmund’s 1997/98 UEFA Champions League semi-final loss to Madrid (0-2 away, 0-0 home)

Match background

Real Madrid
• Madrid came second in their group in 2016/17, behind Dortmund – the first time since 2012/13 they had failed to top their section. They will finish second again this season, to Tottenham this time.

• Zinédine Zidane’s charges have collected four points at home in this season’s competition, beating APOEL 3-0 before a 1-1 draw against Tottenham.

• Madrid’s home record against Bundesliga clubs is W24 D5 L3. Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick helped the Merengues to a 4-2 extra-time win against FC Bayern München in last season’s quarter-final second leg.

• The Merengues have won 32 of their last 38 UEFA Champions League home matches, losing just once – 4-3 to FC Schalke 04 in their 2014/15 round of 16 second leg, when they still prevailed 5-4 on aggregate.

• That defeat by Schalke was Madrid’s sole reverse in their last 16 home games against German teams (W12 D3). Ronaldo hit another hat-trick against VfL Wolfsburg, for a 3-0 win in the 2015/16 round of 16 which overturned a 2-0 first-leg deficit.

• Madrid have not lost at home in the UEFA Champions League group stage since a 3-2 reverse against AC Milan on 21 October 2009. Their home group record since is W21 D3 – with Dortmund, twice, and Tottenham this season the only visitors to avoid defeat at the Bernabéu.

• Madrid have lost just two of their last 24 European fixtures, most recently the 3-1 defeat at Tottenham on matchday four, winning 16 and drawing six.

• Champions of Europe for a 12th time in 2016/17 – courtesy of their 4-1 final win against Juventus – Madrid aim to become the first team since Bayern München in 1976 to claim three successive European Champion Clubs’ Cups. AFC Ajax (1971–73) and Madrid themselves (1956–60) are the only other sides to have won three or more in a row.

• In 21 previous participations in the UEFA Champions League, Madrid have never failed to progress to the last 16.

• It is just one point on the road for Peter Bosz’s men in Group H, from that draw at APOEL; they lost 3-1 at Tottenham on matchday one.

• The Bundesliga outfit have won only one of their last ten European matches (D3 L6).

• Dortmund have won just once in 13 previous visits to Spain (D5 L7). That solitary success was a 1-0 victory at Club Atlético de Madrid in the 1996/97 group stage, courtesy of a Stefan Reuter goal.

• On matchday one 12 months ago Dortmund triumphed 6-0 at Legia Warszawa – their biggest-ever European away victory. They also won their next away match, at Sporting Clube de Portugal (2-1), before victory eluded them in their next three on the road, including defeats in the last two.

• Defeat at Tottenham on matchday one meant Dortmund had lost three successive UEFA Champions League away games; they then drew at APOEL on matchday three.

• Dortmund, contesting the group stage for the 12th time and a sixth in seven years, got to the knockout stage on their last four UEFA Champions League appearances.

Coach and player links
• Zidane was in the Juventus team defeated 3-1 by Dortmund in the 1996/97 UEFA Champions League final.

• Nuri Şahin spent 2011/12 with Madrid, making 12 appearances.

• Łukasz Piszczek’s Poland suffered a UEFA EURO 2016 quarter-final loss on penalties against Ronaldo’s Portugal.

• Nuri Şahin was a half-time substitute in the Turkey team beaten 3-0 by the Spain of Sergio Ramos in the UEFA EURO 2016 group stage.

• André Schürrle and Toni Kroos each scored twice as Germany beat a Brazil side containing Marcelo 7-1 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup semi-finals.

• Kroos played 17 times against Dortmund for Leverkusen and Bayern, scoring one goal (W5 D3 L9).

• Marc Bartra’s only outing for FC Barcelona against Madrid came in their 2-1 Copa del Rey final defeat in 2014.

• Mario Götze was in the Bayern side beaten by Madrid in the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League semi-finals.

• As a Bayer 04 Leverkusen player in 2012/13, Dani Carvajal lost home (2-3) and away (0-3) to Dortmund.

• As an Eintracht Frankfurt player last season, Jesús Vallejo recorded a win and defeat against Dortmund in the Bundesliga, and lost the German Cup final 2-1.

• International team-mates (non-Germany/Spain):
Cristiano Ronaldo & Raphaël Guerreiro (Portugal)

• Have played together:
Dani Carvajal & Ömer Toprak, Gonzalo Castro, André Schürrle (Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 2012/13)
Toni Kroos & Mario Götze (Bayern, 2013/14)

• Borja Mayoral spent 2016/17 with Wolfsburg.

Source link