For the second season in a row, the UEFA Champions League group stage brings together Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid CF – and precedent suggests the holders could be in for a tough evening in Germany.
• Madrid have never won in Dortmund – and despite recent successes, have historically struggled in away games against Bundesliga sides – although Zinédine Zidane’s side are already on the board in Group H having beaten APOEL FC 3-0 on matchday one. For Dortmund, 3-1 losers at Tottenham Hotspur FC in their first fixture, a positive result is crucial to prevent them slipping further off the pace.
• The clubs’ record from six previous meetings on German soil is three wins for Dortmund, none for Madrid and three 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 Dortmund.
• The teams at the BVB Stadion Dortmund on 27 September 2016 were:
Dortmund: Bürki, Piszczek, Ginter, Papastathopoulos, Schmelzer, Guerreiro (Emre Mor 77), Castro, Weigl, Götze (Schürrle 58), Dembélé (Pulišić 73), Aubameyang.
Madrid: Navas, Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Danilo, Kroos, Modrić, James Rodríguez (Kovačić 69), Bale, Benzema (Morata 88), Ronaldo.
• Dortmund secured first place in the section by coming from 2-0 down to snatch a point at the Santiago Bernabéu 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.
• They 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 second leg on 8 April 2014 were:
Dortmund: Weidenfeller, Piszczek (Aubameyang 81), Friedrich, Hummels, Durm, Kirch, Mkhitaryan, Jojić, Reus, Grosskreutz, Lewandowski.
Madrid: Casillas, Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Fábio Coentrão, Alonso, Illarramendi (Isco 46), Modrić, Di María (Casemiro 73), Bale, Benzema (Varane 90+1).
• The teams also met 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 side through despite a 2-0 reverse in Madrid where Benzema and Sergio Ramos scored.
• The line-ups for the semi-final first leg at the BVB Stadion on 24 April 2013 were:
Dortmund: Weidenfeller, Piszczek (Grosskreutz 83), Subotić, Hummels, Schmelzer, Błaszczykowski (Kehl 82), Bender, Gündoğan (Schieber 90), Götze, Reus, Lewandowski.
Madrid: López, Pepe, Varane, Ramos, Fábio Coentrão, Alonso (Kaká 80), Khedira, Modrić (Di María 68), Ronaldo, Özil, Higuaín (Benzema 68).
• 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.
• Before last season’s draw with Madrid, the Bundesliga side had won their previous four home matches against Spanish visitors. Their overall record at home against Liga opposition is W7 D4 L2.
• Dortmund, contesting the group stage for the 12th time and a sixth in seven years, have reached the knockout stage on their last four UEFA Champions League appearances. In 2016/17 they beat SL Benfica 4-1 on aggregate in the round of 16, subsequently losing 6-3 to Monaco over two legs (2-3 home, 1-3 away).
• That home defeat by Monaco ended Dortmund’s seven-match unbeaten home run in Europe (W5 D2).
• Dortmund picked up seven points at home in last season’s group stage, beating Sporting Clube de Portugal 1-0 and Legia Warszawa 8-4 – the latter result the most goals in a UEFA Champions League match.
• Overall, their record in Germany is W5 D7 L19 – four of those wins coming in their last seven visits.
• A 2-1 defeat at Club Atlético de Madrid in last season’s semi-final second leg (4-2 aggregate) ended Madrid’s six-game unbeaten away run in the UEFA Champions League (W3 D3). That was only their second loss in their last 12 away matches, the other a 2-0 reverse at VfL Wolfsburg in the 2015/16 quarter-final first leg; they won six of those matches.
• Champions of Europe for a 12th time in 2016/17 – courtesy of their 4-1 final win against Juventus – Madrid will aim to become the first team since Bayern 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.
• Madrid finished second in their group in 2016/17, behind Dortmund – the first time since 2012/13 they had failed to top their section.
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 defeat 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.
• 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):
Raphaël Guerreiro Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
Adrián Ramos James Rodríguez (Colombia)
• Have played together:
Ömer Toprak, Gonzalo Castro, André Schürrle Dani Carvajal (Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 2012/13)
Mario Götze Toni Kroos (Bayern, 2013/14)
• Borja Mayoral spent 2016/17 with Wolfsburg.