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Champions League final preview – Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid

Champions League final preview – Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid

The Champions League final takes place this week as Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid clash for club football’s biggest trophy.

UEFA’s premier competition reaches its conclusion under the Wembley arch, and one of the two teams will be crowned European champions for 2023-24.

Real Madrid will start as favourites in their search for a record-extending 15th title, though Dortmund have upset the odds already to reach this stage.

Here is everything you need to know about the clash.

Form

Borussia Dortmund: WWWLW

Borussia Dortmund have impressed in Europe this season despite a difficult Bundesliga campaign that saw Edin Terzic’s side finish fifth, a distant 27 points behind champions Bayer Leverkusen.

After a rocky start to the group stage, failing to win or score in their opening two games, Dortmund topped the tournament’s ‘Group of Death’ and have since eliminated Real Sociedad, Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain to reach the final.

Their performance in the semi-final was disciplined defensively to shut out the French champions, recording clean sheets in both legs – with some good fortune – to reach Wembley.

Mats Hummels has not missed a minute of the Champions League campaign to date, with the veteran excellent in Europe, though he was not included in the German squad for Euro 2024.

Dortmund will have taken note of how Villarreal’s Alexander Sorloth unsettled Real Madrid, scoring four times in the recent 4-4 draw between the teams, and will hope the similarly imposing Niclas Füllkrug can take advantage in the air.

 

Real Madrid: WWWDD

Real Madrid wrapped up a record-extending 36th La Liga title with games to spare, with Carlo Ancelotti’s side have been formidable this season. Los Blancos lost just once in La Liga all season – way back on September 24th against Atletico Madrid – and are unbeaten in 25 games across all competitions.

Carlo Ancelotti’s team are yet to suffer defeat in this season’s Champions League, progressing from the group stage with a perfect record of six wins from six games, before navigating a tough knockout run against RB Leipzig, Manchester City and Bayern Munich without losing.

Vinicius Junior and Jude Bellingham are the leading scorers with 23 in all competitions, though there’s been able support from Joselu (18), Rodrygo (17) and Brahim Diaz (12). The former has been particularly effective in this competition, with five goals and four assists, and he’s been directly involved in more goals than any other player in the Champions League across the last three seasons.

Real Madrid will compete in a record-extending 18th final and have won 14 of their previous 17 final appearances. Their last defeat in the decider came 43 years ago, with eight straight finals wins since losing to Liverpool in 1981.

The game will also be Toni Kroos’ last in club football after the German great announced his plan to retire after Euro 2024.

Last Meeting

Real Madrid 3-2 Borussia Dortmund, Champions League, 06/12/2017

The last meeting between the teams saw Dortmund conclude a nightmare Champions League campaign with a 3-2 defeat at the Bernabeu.

Borja Mayoral and Cristiano Ronaldo fired the Spanish side two goals ahead inside 12 minutes, but Dortmund hit back to level through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s brace, scored within six minutes either side of the half-time interval.

Lucas Vazquez scored a late winner for Real Madrid to seal three points for the home side, as Dortmund exited the competition winless after six games. The Spaniards progressed as runners-up in the group, behind Tottenham, but went on to be crowned European champions at the end of the season.

Predicted Lineups

Dortmund: Kobel; Ryerson, Hummels, Schlotterbeck, Maatsen; Sabitzer, Can; Sancho, Brandt, Adeyemi; Fullkrug.

Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Rudiger, Nacho, Mendy; Valverde, Camavinga, Kroos; Bellingham; Rodrygo, Vinicius Junior.

Who is the referee?

Slavko Vinčić (Slovenia).

What channel is Dortmund vs Real Madrid on?

In the UK and Ireland, the game will be broadcast live on TNT Sports and can be streamed on the Discovery+ app.

What time is kick-off?

20:00 BST, Saturday 1 June 2024.

Odds

Borussia Dortmund – 4/1

Draw – 10/3

Real Madrid – 8/13

Read – Five who played for both Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund

See more – Five surprise teams who will play Champions League football next season

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