By DAN KARELL
Two of the more charismatic managers in Europe will meet today, as Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid travels to Germany to face Jürgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund in Champions League semifinal action (2:45pm, FX Channel).
Dortmund will have to overcome the news released on Monday evening, with star midfielder Mario Götze agreeing to switch to hated rivals Bayern Munich for next season. The timing of the deal couldn’t have come at a worse time for Klopp’s side, as they look to push into the Champions League final for the first time since they won the competition in 1997.
Real Madrid on the other hand won’t have to worry about locker room issues as much as facing the rabid crowd in Signal Iduna Park, the same crowd that willed Dortmund to victory over Malaga in the last round. Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 11 goals in Madrid’s last eight matches, and Mesut Özil has scored four goals in the last two.
Dortmund midfielder Nuri Sahin faces Madrid for the first time since leaving the Spanish capital at the start of the season, while Özil and Khedira will be counted on by Madrid to help prepare for their German opposition.
If you will be watching today’s match please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.
Enjoy the action (You can see a closer look at today’s match-up after the jump):
BORUSSIA DORTMUND vs. REAL MADRID
2:45pm, FX Channel
Players to Watch: BORUSSIA DORTMUND – Mario Götze, Robert Lewandowski, Marco Reus, Sven Bender; REAL MADRID – Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Özil, Karim Benzema, Angel Di Maria.
Quick Kicks: Borussia Dortmund have a full squad to choose from, with Lewandowski shaking off a thigh injury, and midfielders Sebastian Kehl and Sven Bender are fit from their recent injuries. Real Madrid on the other hand have a few more question marks. Luka Modric and Marcelo are doubts after picking up injuries last Saturday, while Alvaro Arbeloa is suspended for the match. Michael Essien and Fabio Coentrao missed the club’s last match with injury, and Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos were rested.