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Dortmund coach Klopp in awe of Madrid

Published: Tuesday 23 October 2012, 19.58CET
"I have seen Real Madrid a lot but hardly ever this good," said Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp, with José Mourinho eager to prey on "little weaknesses" in Group D.
by Steffen Potter
from Dortmund
Dortmund coach Klopp in awe of Madrid
Jürgen Klopp was dazzled by Madrid's performance at Ajax on matchday two ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Tuesday 23 October 2012, 19.58CET

Dortmund coach Klopp in awe of Madrid

"I have seen Real Madrid a lot but hardly ever this good," said Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp, with José Mourinho eager to prey on "little weaknesses" in Group D.

Jürgen Klopp is well aware that Borussia Dortmund have their work cut out at home to Real Madrid CF in Group D but an encouraging UEFA Champions League performance at Manchester City FC has given him hope. However, while the visitors have won only once in 23 games on German soil, José Mourinho can see chinks in Dortmund's armour.

Dortmund
Coach Jürgen Klopp

It is a huge challenge. I have watched Madrid a lot, and I saw them in Amsterdam where they put in a huge performance [to beat AFC Ajax 4-1]. They were tactically disciplined, quick, showed anticipation, pressed and counterattacked while playing football of a high technical standard. That left quite an impression. I have seen Real Madrid a lot but hardly ever this good. They have some injury concerns – Marcelo was outstanding in that match but will not be available.

We will have to work extremely hard without the ball, as we did at Manchester City. We will also have to get stuck in against some of their key players. If you play Real Madrid and don't get a grip on Xabi Alonso, you are going to have a problem. If you don't watch Ángel Di María, you are going to have a problem. If you let Cristiano Ronaldo attack at speed, you are going to have a problem.

In Manchester, we felt how strong we can be if we perform the way we can. We have ways of making life harder for our opponents than they might expect. That will be our task. Whichever opposition player has the ball will receive special attention.

Weekend result
Saturday: Dortmund 1-2 FC Schalke 04 (Lewandowski 55; Afellay 14, Höger 48)

Weidenfeller; Subotić, S Bender, Hummels; Piszczek, Kehl (Bittencourt 55), Grosskreutz; Leitner (Felipe Santana 89), Perišić (Schieber 52); Reus, Lewandowski.

• Dortmund suffered their first home loss in the Bundesliga in more than a year, since a 2-1 defeat by Hertha BSC Berlin on 10 September 2011.

Team news
Marcel Schmelzer (foot) and Mario Götze (thigh) are back to full training after skipping the game against Schalke, as is İlkay Gündoğan (back) although Klopp is not yet confident he will be able to take on Madrid.

Real Madrid
Coach José Mourinho

It will certainly be a difficult match but not because of our injured players – I don't think we are desperately short of players. We will have a team capable of putting in a good performance here. It will be a difficult match because Dortmund are difficult opponents. The entire group is tough. You will not storm through this group by winning your first three games. Nor is it a group where you will break records and win 18 points.

The reason Madrid have not thrived historically in Germany is down to the quality of the opposition. If they did not come from a country with a strong footballing tradition, it would be different. I saw that last season when we lost the semi-final 2-1 at Bayern, but this record will not have a psychological impact. It is always a difficult task here in Germany, as they have strong teams with ambitions similar to our own. That's how things are: German teams are always strong. We know how dynamic they are, how gifted and how quick they play, but they do have little weaknesses which we plan to exploit. We are not that worried about individual players, even though we know they have lots of good ones.

Weekend result
Saturday: Madrid 2-0 RC Celta de Vigo (Higuaín 11, Ronaldo 67pen)

Casillas; Ramos, Varane, Pepe, Essien; Modrić, Alonso, Özil (Callejón 73), Kaká (Di María 46), Ronaldo; Higuaín (Benzema 85).

• Madrid extended their unbeaten home Liga run to 16 games as Cristiano Ronaldo made his 50th consecutive appearance in the Spanish top flight.

Team news
Marcelo is likely to sit out the rest of the group stage after breaking a metatarsal in training with Brazil on 13 October. Fábio Coentrão (hand), Álvaro Arbeloa (hamstring) and Sami Khedira (muscle strain) all missed out at the weekend with injuries also picked up on international duty.

Match fact
Madrid ended Dortmund's reign as European champions when the teams first met, in the 1997/98 semi-finals. Fernando Morientes and Christian Karembeu's first-leg goals in Madrid earned a 2-0 aggregate success for Jupp Heynckes' side, who went on to lift the trophy. Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc and director of youth development Lars Ricken featured in both matches for Nevio Scala's team.

Last updated: 18/04/13 13.31CET

Related information

Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2013/matches/round=2000347/match=2009527/prematch/preview/index.html#dortmund+coach+klopp+madrid

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