Real Madrid face a desperate final matchday battle against Borussia Monchengladbach in order to qualify for the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds.
The 13-time European champions have endured an extremely inconsistent campaign in Europe this term, currently sitting third in the standings ahead of their final group game. They simply have to beat Gladbach in Madrid to stand any chance of qualifying for the next round and even that might not be enough should Shakhtar overcome Inter Milan. Despite that, Real are still the favourites to qualify and sit at odds of 1/4 with Betfair to progress. Meanwhile, Marco Rose’s Gladbach have impressed this season, having only lost one game in Europe, and sit top of the group. They are at odds of 8/11 to qualify for the knockout rounds of a European competition for the first time in the modern era.
Of course then, the result between these two on Wednesday is key in context of their seasons. The prior meeting between the two could provide clues as to how the game and the group could play out. Gladbach had raced into a 2-0 lead at home through two goals from Marcus Thuram before late strikes from Karim Benzema and Casemiro levelled the tie. The hosts to win this time sits at a price of 4/6 with Paddy Power, whilst the German outfit are less fancied at odds of 4/1. A draw can be backed at 13/5.
Following his brace at the end of October, Thuram is surely one to keep an eye on this time around is at 7/1 with William Hill to net the opening goal of the game. Fellow French forward Karim Benzema is also very much fancied to find the net this time around too. He sits at 16/5 to score the first goal of the tie.
Considering the importance of the match, Zidane is surely set to name as strong as a lineup as possible. He can welcome back Sergio Ramos, with the centre-back having missed the last five matches in all competitions with a muscle injury. He is likely to replace deputy Nacho Fernandez and line up alongside Raphael Varane. However, there are a few more injuries to content with throughout the team. Eden Hazard is still ruled out, as is Dani Carvajal. Alvaro Odriozola could replace the latter, whilst Marco Asensio could be recalled having been on the bench last time out against Sevilla.
Marco Rose also has a couple of problems for the trip to Spain, with centre-backs Nico Elvedi and Tony Jantschke still fighting to be fit. If they fail to return in time, Christoph Kramer may again be required to deputise in the back-line. Elsewhere, Ramy Bensebaini is still out having tested positive for COVID-19.