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Borussia Dortmund Vs. Real Madrid, Champions League Semifinals: Real Madrid Looks To Take Another Step Towards Wembley

And the Champions League Semifinals are finally here. Real Madrid have to win just three more games in order to win La Décima, and the club will try to kick those three games off at the Signal Iduna Park this Wednesday (20:45 CET). Mourinho will have to deal with the absence of Marcelo while Luka Modric and Ángel Di María remain questionable.

Lars Baron

The rest of the starting XI is somewhat predictable, but Jose Mourinho made sure to let everyone know it in Tuesday's press conference. According to the Portuguese coach, Diego López, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Varane, Coentrao, Xabi Alonso, Sami Khedira, Di María (if available), Mesut Özil, Cristiano Ronaldo and Pipa Higuaín will be the men in charge of earning a comfortable score for the second leg at the Bernabéu.

Ángel Di María didn't train with the rest of the squad at Germany since his wife gave birth to a premature child, something that is quite complex to both the mother and the baby. If the Argentinian isn't available, Mourinho will have some troubles going on. Since Modric is also questionable, the remaining options would be starting both Benzema and Higuaín or placing Callejón at the right wing.

Borussia Dortmund managed to beat Real Madrid with a 2-1 score the last time los blancos visited the Signal Iduna Park, which was this very same season. Jose Mourinho will have Sami Khedira and Fàbio Coentrao at his disposal though, and he was forced to start Essien at the left back and playing with a Modric-Alonso partnership in the middle that was too weak to contain Borussia's playmakers.

If Real Madrid is to prevail this next Wednesday, The Special One might need yet another brilliant performance from Mesut Özil and Cristiano Ronaldo. Both of them have been playing quite well lately, and they are arguably the team's two best players. The Portuguese coach might feel uncomfortable playing with Ramos as the team's right back. Arbeloa is suspended after seeing a red card in the second leg against Galatasaray and Essien is still recovering from his injury. Sergio Ramos can certainly succeed at that position, but he's not very reliable off set pieces and his consistency isn't trust-worthy. Still, if Real's number 4 plays focused enough, he has the quality to stop Marco Reus or whoever Jürgen Klopp throws at him.

It could be interesting to see how Pepe and Varane behave in such an important match. They struggled against Robert Lewandowski early in the season, but this happened before Varane's transformation into one of the world's greatest defenders. The French center back plays with confidence but doesn't risk the ball a lot, and that's a good combination for a young center back. Real Madrid fans saw what Drogba did to Varane in the team's last match against Galatasaray, so it could be tough for both center backs to stop a surging Lewandowski.

An away goal would be very valuable for Real Madrid, so Mourinho's team might try to play offensively in this first leg. Higuaín will need to improve his Champions League record if he wants his team to win the match, though. The Argentinian striker doesn't seem to like the European competition as he's only scored 9 goals in 46 Champions League matches.

Xabi Alonso and Khedira will surely be rested enough, and the two midfielders have been another key to Real Madrid's latest success in important matches. If they manage to control the tempo of the game, los blancos will have the edge against a Borussia Dortmund team that likes to force turnovers in dangerous areas of the pitch to make the task of creating danger much easier.

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