Can stale Champions League group stage be revived — Football

The absence of these key players is going to cost Dortmund for sure as they would have wanted a full-strength side against a team like Real.

As mentioned above. the Bundesliga giants will be quite depleted ahead of this game. A further 15 matches have seen three-goal victories, meaning almost exactly a third of the group games to date have been decisively one-sided.

Dortmund are still waiting for a win at the Bernabeu after two draws and four defeats on previous visits. After five games, Dortmund have only two points, drawing twice with Apoel Nicosia.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has accused critics of his team of having short memories, saying he had not forgotten their recent achievements. It's a joke. I'm telling you that so he stays with us.

Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and David Silva in particular have left City fans on the edge of their seats, as well as coming up with crucial goals and assists to make them title favourites.

The Los Blancos' defender Dani Carvajal will miss out for Real Madrid with a suspension.

His list of walking wounded is also growing with Mario Goetze, Maximilian Philipp and Gonzalo Castro out for the foreseeable future.

Club bosses have said they trust Bosz to turn things around and the goal he has been set is clear - qualify for the Europa League.

In May, Madrid became the first team to retain the Champions League in its current format and won the Liga trophy for the first time in five seasons, but are currently fourth in the table - eight points behind leaders Barcelona - with their fewest points at this stage for almost a decade. Recently they also drew 4-4 against Schalke 04 in a game where they were leading 4-0 during the first half. I was very interested in the project, [but] it did not happen for many reasons.

Real Madrid and Bayern being drawn together in a winner-takes-all tie right away would be fantastic for excitement, but there is no prospect of that happening, and it is is hard to envisage a better outcome than the system currently in place.

Over the weekend, rumours emerged that Aubameyang could link up with former Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, but this is little more than idle newspaper talk, with the Reds boss looking at targets other than the 28-year-old.

In order to get the top teams to agree to play in the Club World Cup, organisers give the European and South American entrants byes into the semi-finals.

  • Ricardo Clara