Bundesliga outfit are heading into their first-ever quarter-finals feeling motivated to put their best performance against the ten-time winners of Europe’s elite competition Real Madrid, who are coming off from a huge El Clasico win.
History in the making
As they prepare to enter their first-ever quarter-final in the UEFA Champions League, Wolfsburg will have plenty of reason to feel worried as their form is on the downslide in recent weeks. Since their Champions League triumph against Gent, Die Wolfe have struggled to keep their ground in the Bundesliga as they have lost two and drawn one of their last three encounters. Dieter Hecking’s men are coming off from the 3-0 loss at Bayer Leverkusen and their form needs a swift improvement if they are to hope for a positive result against the reinvigorated Real Madrid. However, Wolfsburg will lack no motivation as they are eager to mark their only second UEFA Champions League participation following the 2009-10 debut with a respectable result in the knockouts. Furthermore, Wolfs are hoping to continue their fine home form in the competition as they have won all of their previous four home games including a 1-0 victory over KAA Gent to complete a 4-2 aggregate win in the round of 16. Wolfsburg’s key man to watch will be Julian Draxler who is relishing the opportunity to measure up against the Los Blancos, claiming that it would be a dream to knock Real Madrid out of the competition.
Hosts will have to do without right-back Sebastian Jung who is sufferingfrom the cruciate ligament rupture, while Naldo and Diego Benaglio are also ruled out due to their respective injuries.
El Clasico boost
Despite the fact their La Liga title run is well over, Real Madrid have been given a timely confidence boost with the impressive 2-1 El Clasico win over the weekend. ZInedine Zidane has become the first Real Madrid manager to win in his first-ever El Clasico since 2007 and French manager will have been rather satisfied with his team’s performance against the Catalans. Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo got their names on the scoresheet against Luis Enrique’s men who suffered a deserved loss to the inspired Real Madrid. Los Blancos are heading into their Champions League match feeling buoyed by El Clasico success and will be looking to continue the form as Champions League remains their only way to salvage the entire season. Real Madrid are feeling confident after a series of six consecutive victories ever since their 1-0 Madrid Derby defeat. Cristiano Ronaldo will be particularly motivated as the Champions League top scorer is looking to increase his tally of 13 goals in eight appearances this season. His total of 90 Champions League goals make his the record top scorer in the history of the competition as the Portuguese star is seven clear of Lionel Messi’s tally in the competition.
Zinedine Zidane will be pleased to report that he has almost the full crop of players at his disposal for the trip to Germany. Raphael Varane remains the only unavailable player for Los Blancos, as the French centre back is struggling with his muscle injury.
Wolfsburg have been going through a rough patch in the Bundesliga and will be faced with a tough task against the inspired Los Blancos. Real Madrid want to go all the way in the competition and will be eager to get one foot in the semi-finals with a strong performance in the first leg.
Top pick: Away win 1.7 (7/10) @Coral
Alternative pick 1: HT/FT Away win 2.62 (13/8) @BetFair
Alternative pick 2: Ronaldo to score anytime 1.91 (10/11) @WilliamHill