Blogs & Opinion

Niall Quinn:

Most Popular Posts:

Niall Quinn says Dortmund risk Real Madrid counter if they attack too much

Niall Quinn - Niall Quinn Posted 22nd April 2013 view comments

When Borussia Dortmund came to the home of the Premier League champions earlier this season, they really marked themselves out to me as a team full of potential.

That night really sticks in my mind because they looked so at ease against Manchester City and were only denied the victory by a late Mario Balotelli penalty. Since then they have gone on from that and have looked good in their progression to the semi-finals.

Dortmund v Real: German side didn't lose when teams met twice in group stage

Dortmund v Real: German side didn't lose when teams met twice in group stage

Of course, they took four points off Madrid in the group stage, but you can't read too much into that. It has relevance in that players will understand their opponents a bit better, but now it feels like these are two racehorses in the final furlong and their form in the early part of the race doesn't matter quite so much.

Dortmund have a very strong manager in Jurgen Klopp and the late comeback against Malaga tells you everything about the personality within the squad. Who would have thought they could drum up the inner belief to score two injury-time goals and turn things around?

Some may look on that as a lucky escape, but when a team does something like that they will be determined to go out and prove what they can do in the next game.

Dortmund always play at a great tempo that creates opportunities for players like Robert Lewandowski to score, but I just think it might be set up for Real Madrid to get a goal on Wednesday night.

It will be interesting to see how Dortmund approach this first leg. Will they go out and try to win the first game? You'd think their best chance of reaching Wembley is to win the home tie, but they mustn't leave them exposed to Real Madrid on the counter-attack.

Jose Mourinho's side can do anything and you wouldn't be surprised to see them score twice in the first 20 minutes inside the Westfalenstadion because of the quality and pace in the side.

Time after time this season we've seen them launch an incredible attack out of almost nothing and I wonder if Dortmund can do enough damage to prevent those chances.

Real Madrid are past masters at slowing the game down, dictating the play and even when it looks like they are under the cosh they can find a breakthrough - largely because they have some of the best and quickest players in the world.

It's not just about Cristiano Ronaldo either. They have energy, speed of thought and speed of passing throughout the side - and they have great strength at the back as well. Lewandowski will get very little change out of those wonderful defenders and will have to earn every chance he gets.

It's a real dilemma for Klopp. Dortmund need to win the first leg and their strength is going forward, so do they throw everything at it? For me the answer is no. If they look forward too anxiously then they will be picked off.

But at the same time they must not be over-cautious either and play to their own strengths. It should be a fascinating tactical battle between two great managers.

I can't see Real Madrid, given what they have in their team, failing to break away and score goals. Dortmund showed great spirit and belief against Malaga, but I think this will be another difficult night for them.

NIALL'S PREDICTION: Dortmund have enough to scrape a draw, but I'm favouring Real Madrid to turn it around in the second leg.

See Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid live from 7pm, Wednesday, Sky Sports 2 HD and follow Interactive Commentary from the stadium at Niall's verdict on Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund here.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Guillem Balague

Making it for Messi

Barca and Real feature but Spain's best side isn't in the Copa del Rey final, says Guillem Balague....

Paul Merson

Still in the frame

Paul Merson says Everton's top-four bid and Man City's title hopes won't be derailed on Wednesday....

Latest News RSS feeds

Sturridge could face Norwich

Liverpool are optimistic that striker Daniel Sturridge will be fit for this weekend's game against Norwich.

Pellegrini vows to fight on

Manuel Pellegrini admitted the loss to Liverpool was still on Manchester City's minds as they drew with Sunderland.

Martinez disappointed by loss

Roberto Martinez conceded his Everton side had not been at their best after going down 3-2 at home to Crystal Palace.

Poyet pleased to defy critics

Gus Poyet has vowed to continue fighting for safety after Sunderland's 2-2 draw with Manchester City on Wednesday.

City rally but lose ground

Manchester City were forced to come from behind to earn a 2-2 draw against Sunderland at the Etihad Stadium.


Saluting Giroud

Saluting Giroud

Daniel Storey has praise for Olivier Giroud after a soldiering performance against West Ham.

Liverpool was a city united on the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster

Liverpool was a city united on the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster

From early morning, a steady stream of visitors made their way to the Hillsborough Memorial on Anfield Road to pay their respects.

Sky Sports Scout, in association with Wyscout, reports on Swiss striker Josip Drmic

Sky Sports Scout, in association with Wyscout, reports on Swiss striker Josip Drmic

Sky Sports Scout is our exciting feature where we scour the globe, in partnership with Wyscout, looking out for the best talent and bring you a report on what we find.